Naugatuck, Prospect schools holding firm on racial slur allegations during a basketball game

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NAUGATUCK -- A meeting to discuss alleged racism that occurred during a middle school basketball game earlier this month has been cancelled.

Prospect Superintendent of Schools, Michael Yamin, told FOX61 an investigation found no evidence that players and parents from his town directed the N-word at some Naugatuck players.

"Naugatuck had did their investigation and did find that a lot of these things did happen," said DeWygee Williams, the mother of Vonni Bennett, who said he and other City Hill Middle School teammates were called the N-word.

There was a meeting scheduled, between the players and coaches from City Hill and Prospect's Long River Middle School, but, the principal of City Hill, Eileen Mezzo, emailed students and parents saying “Upon reflection, we no longer believe this meeting will be beneficial.”

"Naugatuck just decided at that point there would be no point to bring the boys into a situation where they were not going to at least get an apology," said DeWygee Williams.

The City Hill parents supported the principal and Naugatuck's Superintendent of Schools, Sharon Locke, in their decision.

"We will just handle this on our own," DeWygee Williams said. "We are really trying, as his parents, to help him understand that, you know, although this is a common thing, it’s not right," said DeWygee Williams.

Vonni Bennett’s father, Byron Williams, said he knows where his son is coming from because he too was the subject of racism, while in the Navy, and he said he’s very happy that Naugatuck is going to be holding a public forum on the subject.

"By then putting something in place, I want to be involved with that because I don’t want this to happen to any other kids coming up," said Byron Williams.

Locke issued a written statement to FOX61:

"We believe our role is to take care of our students by honoring their statements and feelings. We have plans to use this as an opportunity to continue to develop our students into citizens who celebrate our community's rich diversity and stand up to hate, as well as appropriate sportsmanship during upcoming sporting events."

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