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Cary-Grove principal apologizes to Lake Forest High School following ‘fire Nagy’ chants at playoff football game

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Cary-Grove principal apologizes to Lake Forest High School following ‘fire Nagy’ chants at playoff football game

The principal of Cary-Grove High School has issued a statement of apology following a recent football playoff game against Lake Forest High School where there were fan chants of “Fire Nagy,” referring to Chicago Bears head coach Matt Nagy — who is also the father of boys on the Lake Forest team.

On Tuesday, Principal Neil Lesinski issued a statement on the school’s Twitter account regarding the chant that broke out Nov. 20 as Cary-Grove defeated Lake Forest 40-7 in a Class 6A state semifinal.

“As the school principal, I want to apologize to the Lake Forest student-athlete and his family for the disrespectful chant. I also want to congratulate the Lake Forest Scouts on a great season, and we hope to have the opportunity to compete with them again,” he said.

Matt Nagy attended the game “to be a dad,” he said in unrelated news conference Tuesday, since two of his sons are listed on the Lake Forest roster.

After the weekend game, video of a portion of the crowd surfaced on social media chanting “Fire Nagy,” as fans some are frustrated with the Bears team’s performance so far this season.

While not naming Nagy, Lesinski, in the statement on social media, acknowledged that members of the Cary-Grove student body started targeting a parent of one of the Lake Forest team members and the child’s family.

“On behalf of Cary-Grove High School, I want to assure our community that the chant was not acceptable nor appropriate and immediately addressed by administration at the game. We also felt it was important to meet with our student superfans that lead our chants and cheers to talk about what happened and give them the opportunity to reflect and connect their actions,” Lesinski wrote.

The principal continued: “It is our number one goal to instill in our students a sense of pride in their school and sports teams, and we work hard to teach them to demonstrate that pride in a positive, encouraging and supportive way. We hope to learn from this situation, and we have taken steps to ensure this does not happen again,” Lesinski wrote.

Later Tuesday, Lake Forest High School Principal Erin Lenart released her own statement in reaction to the apology.

“We are grateful that the Cary-Grove administration has taken this seriously and immediately addressed it with their fans and student body,” Lenart wrote. “We appreciate their efforts and remain steadfast in our commitment to the safety and wellbeing of all of our students. Go Scouts!”

Nagy addressed the issue at the Bears news conference Tuesday, telling reporters he did not hear the chant.

“When I’m in the role I’m in, you have to be able to understand where people are coming from and how they react and don’t react,” Nagy said. “I was there to watch my son play a football game. I was there to be a dad. It was a pretty cool time.”

He said he was approached by some Cary-Grove youth football players after the game for pictures and they all said, “please and thank you.”

“I’ve been to a lot of baseball games over the summer and there is not a lot of that going on. I can say the one thing they can be proud of is they have a lot of young kids that have respect,” he said.

Nagy did not state whether he thought the chant was over the line.

“Everybody has their own opinions on what they do,” Nagy said, explaining that he hears a lot of chants at high school events. “That’s sports right now, and everybody wants to see how people handle it.”

Daniel I. Dorfman is a freelancer.

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Michelle Wu reappoints Rafaela Polanco Garcia and Lorena Lopera to Boston School Committee

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Michelle Wu reappoints Rafaela Polanco Garcia and Lorena Lopera to Boston School Committee

Boston School Committee members Lorena Lopera and Rafaela Polanco Garcia have been reappointed to their positions by Mayor Michelle Wu and will now serve on the board until 2024.

“I am excited and grateful to reappoint these passionate community leaders who have consistently advocated for equity, inclusion, and accessibility in our school system. They both will continue to work to support families, educators, and community members and advocate for the high-quality education our students deserve,” Wu said in a statement.

Former Acting Mayor Kim Janey had appointed Lopera and Garcia, and their terms expired with Janey’s, as acting mayors in Boston cannot make permanent appointments.

The two School Committee members reapplied for their seats and were chosen by Wu. They will serve terms that are set to expire on Jan. 1, 2024.

Boston School Committee Chair Jeri Robinson said Lopera and Garcia “have each added great depth to our conversations as a Committee and I look forward to their continued engagement as we advance important policy issues.”

Both Garcia and Lopera are Boston Public Schools parents. Garcia serves as director of parent engagement and organizing at St. Stephen’s Youth Programs. She is an immigrant from the Dominican Republic and primarily speaks Spanish.

Lopera is executive director of Latinos for Education. She lives in Jamaica Plain and is an immigrant from Colombia.

Lopera said, “My educational experience and my experience as a Boston Public Schools parent will continue to guide my decisions on the committee. I look forward to working with families, educators and community members so that our school system is more equitable, responsive, and provides quality support for all of our children.”

Garcia said she looks forward to representing immigrants and English language learners, adding, “I hope to continue promoting language access and to represent my community with dignity.”

A citizens nominating panel of Boston parents, teachers and other community members receives applications for school committee positions and interviews candidates before sending a list of finalists for the mayor to choose.

Applications are open for two more spots on the school committee for seats currently held by members Ernani DeAraujo and Hardin Coleman.

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Charlie Baker insists vaccine verification system is not a pathway to mandates

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Charlie Baker insists vaccine verification system is not a pathway to mandates

Gov. Charlie Baker wants everyone to know he does not support a vaccine mandate statewide — “period.”

His unequivocal stance comes after he went on radio and said a digital vaccine verification system may soon be coming to Massachusetts. The floodgates opened and he was hit with a barrage of questions about how and why it will be implemented.

Baker emphasized that he has “never supported or agreed to any sort of statewide vaccine mandate program” several times, and added that he doesn’t plan to in the future. He explained that the mandate is only in place for people who “want to go to a wedding or to a church, or to a restaurant where proof of vaccination is required,” he said.

“This isn’t about creating a mandate or a statewide initiative of any kind, we just want to make sure that people have the ability, if they’ve been vaccinated and want to have proof that they’ve been vaccinated, that they can easily download it onto their phone and use it whenever they need to,” Baker said.

Baker also didn’t weigh in on the broader use of the technology, which he said will be rolled out “soon,” throughout an unnamed city, for example. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu has recently hinted that she’s considering a “vaccine passport” system similar to the one in New York City, which requires patrons to show their vaccination status before entering venues like gyms, theaters and restaurants.

“We said from the very beginning of the pandemic that we’re going to pursue one set of rules that we consider to be important at the state level, but we’re going to give locals a lot of latitude with respect to how they want to play it at the local level,” Baker said, making no mention of Boston or Wu.

Though the governor touted the ease of verification availability on people’s smartphones, even as the ACLU of Massachusetts has raised concerns.

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Charlie Baker attends groundbreaking at Norwood Hospital, damaged by 2020 flood

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Charlie Baker attends groundbreaking at Norwood Hospital, damaged by 2020 flood

Gov. Charlie Baker attended a groundbreaking ceremony in Norwood to mark the start of construction on a new hospital in the town after the old one was damaged in a June 2020 flood.

“There will be a beautiful new hospital here and this hospital will continue to provide care and service to this community for at least another 100 years,” Baker said. “But that wipeout that took place that day, that was another profound example of how you can’t always predict what every day is going to be like.”

Norwood Town Manager Tony Mazzucco said emergency rescuers evacuated over 100 people from the hospital that night during the pandemic and the storm without any injuries to patients or first responders.

The hospital is set to reopen in 2024.

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