Metco students called a racial slur in Arlington

ARLINGTON, Mass. — FOX25 has learned about possible verbal assaults at a local middle school, involving a racial slur.

It happened at Ottoson Middle School, in Arlington, and according to parents was aimed toward students enrolled through the MetCo program.

"It's just disturbing. I want my kids to feel safe when they're at this program," Conrad Phillip, from Dorchester, said after his son was called a racial slur.

Phillip has four kids enrolled in Arlington schools ranging from third grade to a senior in high school.

He said he had high praise for the public school system, and he was shocked about this latest incident.

A letter was sent to parents after the incident saying "There was an unfortunate situation between a small number of Ottoson Middle School students... This incident was upsetting to some of the students."

The issues didn't end with that though.

"Two of the kids out of nine kids got an attitude. They're mad at him. Words are sent back and forth. I even want to say there was a little tussling going on. And the n-word was used again," Phillip told FOX25.

Last spring, racist graffiti was found in the bathroom at Ottoson two times in three weeks, and in July, an African American family's Mystic Street home was vandalized.

After the school bus incident, FOX25 asked town leaders what was being done and received the following statement: "We believe that this was an isolated incident...We have spoken with all of the parents of the students involved, and we have issued punishments and restorative actions that are fair and in line with our values."

The town spokesman told FOX25 there are also programs in place that celebrate diversity, but some parents said the schools can't do it alone.

"I think they're trying, but I don't think they're succeeding. I think they need help from other parents," Mary Sacca said.

Phillip agrees.

"We need everybody to wake up and be involved and let them know we're going to fix this problem," he said. "Because if it keeps happening there's a problem and obviously whatever you're doing is not working."