By Katina Caraganis
LUNENBURG -- A 13-year-old eighth-grader who has been making headlines because he was the victim of a hate crime has officially transferred to a middle school in Leominster, according to his mother.
Andrea Brazier said her son, Isaac Phillips, is much happier at the new school but declined to say which school he is attending. There are two middle schools in Leominster.
Messages left for building principals at Samoset Middle School and Sky View Middle School, as well as to Leominster's superintendent of schools, were not returned Tuesday.
Racist graffiti was found on the family's Chase Road home on Nov. 15 that read "Knights don't need n******." Lunenburg High School's mascot is the Blue Knight.
Investigations were launched into whether Phillips was being bullied and harassed by fellow football teammates because he is one-quarter black.
Lunenburg's athletic director also apologized to Worcester South Community School after Lunenburg junior-varsity players made racist comments during a game that had to be stopped early.
It is alleged that similar comments were made during a varsity game three days before, when a Worcester coach approached a referee after hearing a Lunenburg player use a racial term.
The official did not hear it but spoke with the player to make sure it did not happen again.
Lunenburg Police Chief James Marino declined to comment on the status of the investigation or whether any arrests have been made.
"I wont comment on this case right now, not when I'm under the direction of the FBI and the district attorney," he said.
Marino said the fact that Phillips changed schools bothers him greatly.
"It's almost like we failed as leaders that we allowed this to happen," he said. "We shouldn't let that happen. That really bothers me."
Brazier did not say when the transfer was official but that Isaac is happy in his new school and the family is ready to move on.
"Unfortunately, these past 10 days have really taken a toll on our family," she said. "I cannot even begin to explain the emotions and issues we are facing daily."
While Brazier and her husband, Anthony Phillips, are happy that what happened to her son was publicized, she said they will no longer be speaking publicly about it.
"I am extremely grateful this has gotten out to the public, but going forward, we will no longer be talking to anyone," Brazier said, adding that the decision was made with advice from a lawyer.
She said that includes news outlets, the superintendent in Lunenburg or the police. She said she hopes people understand the family's decision.
"Our family is our one and only concern at this time," she said.
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