Baseball star bounces from New Rochelle prep school after staff member’s alleged racism

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CORTLANDT, N.Y. — Tony Humphrey is no ordinary high school athlete.

The 16-year old Cortlandt, New York resident is an accomplished baseball player at Iona Prep in New Rochelle — a junior who’s already been recruited by and is committed to play for Boston College after he graduates.

So striving to become a better athlete by joining the track team in the off season was a no brainer.

But an interaction he had this past Friday with one of the school’s assistant athletic directors had the teen stumped, and frankly – furious.

“He comes up to me,” Humphrey said of the administrator, “and asked why was I doing track.”

Humphrey said he explained that he was just trying to get faster.

“It never hurts to gain speed,” he said. But the educator implied Humphrey was already fast enough. And he had a reason

Humphrey said the assistant AD said the teen “gained that speed by running from the police.”

“That was racist. There was no reason for him to say that,” he said.

The school declined to identify the staff member who made those comments.

But Humphrey didn’t waste any time. He went home, told his mother what happened, and they decided the teen would be taking his talents elsewhere, by transferring from Iona Prep to the public high school near his family’s home.

“I decided to leave, because of my current situation, as I’m already committed. I’m already going to [college],” he said. “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.

Humphrey said this was not the first time he experienced racism at Iona Prep.

“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.”

Other students engaged in a walkout Tuesday, in support of their teammate and classmate.

The school sent out a letter to parents Tuesday, which acknowledged the incident, and announced an internal investigation into the matter.

The letter reads in part, “Such comments go against the very mission of the school to develop moral and ethical leaders. It is behavior that Iona Preparatory does not condone for its students and will not accept from its faculty and staff.”

The school also announced in the letter that the staff member in question had resigned.

Correction: The spelling of the teen’s hometown was updated.

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