A star student-athlete and his mother quickly pulled him from a prep school located outside of New York City and transferred him to a public school after a racist comment was made by the school’s assistant athletic director, WPIX-TV reports.
Tony Humphrey, 16, is a talented baseball player at Iona Preparatory School, located in New Rochelle, New York, a city in Westchester County, which is located in the southeastern portion of the state. The teen was questioned by the assistant AD about his decision to take on track & field.
“He comes up to me and asked why I was doing track,” Humphrey stated.
“It never hurts to gain speed,” Humphrey’s replied. It was then the administrator replied that he “gained that speed by running from the police.”
“That was racist. There was no reason for him to say that,” he said.
Humphrey’s informed his mother of the incident that occurred at Iona Prep and they made the decision for him to transfer to a public school nearby their home.
“I decided to leave, because of my current situation, as I’m already going to [college]. I don’t feel like I have to stay at a program where they’re going to look at me different, or feel uncomfortable at a place I have to go to Monday through Friday.”
This was not the first occasion that Humphrey has dealt with racism at the Prep school, as he makes mention of school officials ignoring previous experiences.
“There were other instances of racism during my freshman year,” he said. “I took it up with the dean, I took it up with the higher ups, and nothing happened to the other student.”
On Tuesday afternoon (Nov. 23), dozens of Iona Prep students staged a walkout in response to the anger they felt about the A.D. 's actions.
According to EuroWeb, a letter was sent out to parents by school president, Brother Thomas R. Leto. He stated that the man’s actions is “behavior that Iona Preparatory does not condone for its students and will accept from its faculty and staff.”
Leto also made mention that the A.D. resigned.
Correction: A previous version of this story erroneously stated that Iona Preparatory School is located in New York City.