‘The left is eating its own’: An ‘intersectional’ atomic bomb hit a local public school in Amherst

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – A school district in Massachusetts is engulfed in tension following claims that two school counselors were involved in harmful encounters with transgender…

(Daily Caller News Foundation) – A school district in Massachusetts is engulfed in tension following claims that two school counselors were involved in harmful encounters with transgender students, leading to accusations of racism, the New Yorker reported.

The school newspaper of Amherst Regional Middle School, the Graphic, reported about claims that the counselors were mistreating LGBT students, prompting multiple investigations, according to the New Yorker. The allegations centered around Hector Santos, a Hispanic male, and Delinda Dykes, a black woman, and led to an emergency school committee meeting.

Santos and Dykes were hired by Doreen Cunningham, who was the assistant superintendent of the Amherst School District in charge of hiring, as part of a push by then-Superintendent Michael Morris to diversify the according to the New Yorker. 

“There was a lot of racism in the district,” Cunningham told the New Yorker. “And I came, and a lot of people of color started to feel safe, not because they thought that I would not hold them accountable but because they knew that somebody would hopefully understand where they were coming from.”

Former Amherst school committee member Ben Herrington told the New Yorker that he suspected Morris failed to address problems surrounding Cunningham due to fears he would be called “racist” for taking action.

“The sense I got was that, once Mike realized that he didn’t have the right person, he didn’t want to be perceived as being racist for dealing with her or having her removed,” Herrington said, “Which, if we’re being honest, is actually kind of a racist viewpoint.”

Cunningham’s employment with the district ended in October after she was placed on leave in May, the Amherst Indy reported., noting Cunningham filed a discrimination complaint.

Parents of transgender children, though, accused Cunningham of abetting abuse allegedly inflicted by Santos and Dykes, who were placed on leave after being accused of discussing religion and failing to stop bullying, the New Yorker reported. Many of the students accused of bullying LGBT students were Hispanic or black, according to the New Yorker.

Instances of bullying of LGBT students were often addressed with “restorative justice,” a practice common in progressive school districts, but in one case, a conservative Hispanic student told the LGBT student they only believed there were two genders, according to the New Yorker. The LGBT student’s father later demanded that the Hispanic student have “ZERO contact” with his child.

“Change his class, change his school, send him to Mars; I don’t care,” the father wrote in an email, the New Yorker reported. 

Another transgender child withdrew from the school after being hospitalized for depression and suicidal ideation, according to the New Yorker.

“I’m not saying that some of these students don’t cause problems,” a member of the Amherst Regional Middle School staff told the New Yorker, “but they are the ones who face the most social ills in society. They’re the ones with a single mom working two jobs. They’re taking care of their younger siblings.”

“They’re those kids, whether people will say it that way or not,” Herrington told the New Yorker, noting that many of the Hispanic and black kids’ families received Section 8 vouchers.

Tensions in the town over schooling were already high due to clashes between parents and the local teachers’ union over in-person education during the COVID-19 pandemic, along with disputes over masking and vaccination policies, the New Yorker reported.

“The language changed. People became comfortable with being blatantly hostile,” Herrington told the New Yorker. “We were no longer having normal conversations.”

In response to a school committee vote that allowed unvaccinated staff to work if they wore masks, the head of the local teachers union accused the committee of “genocide against teachers,” the New Yorker reported.

“The left is eating its own all over the country—it’s not just Amherst,” a resident told the New Yorker.