Boston Latin Headmaster Teta’s Big Mistake: Inviting in Trouble

() wisecatApologies to Headmaster Teta if it was not her decision that brought about this happening which would do nothing but stir up the pot. If it was made by someone else and forced upon her, her staff and students from on high, then that person should be identified. I write though as if Teta were responsible because I assume the headmaster controls the school..

Most people know you don’t let a fox into the hen-house or a wolf into a sheep’s pen. Even if the fox or wolf asks with a smile you must know that the outcome will not be to your liking. I learned a long time ago when the drill sergeant came in to inspect the barracks that no matter how well we did in turning it into a perfect living space he would still find problems and dump on us. I am surprised that Lynn Mooney Teta the 47-year old woman who has been headmaster at Boston Latin School (BLS) made such an error in judgment as she did, if it was her decision.

In February, shortly after two black students complained of the hostile racial atmosphere at BLS that decision was made. “A Globe reporter and photographer were allowed unprecedented access to Boston Latin. . . . The weeklong visit — which included interviews with about 60 students and two dozen teachers, staff, administrators, and alumni — came in February, as racial tensions swirled.”  

The newspapers bias is shown even in that statement that “racial tensions swirled.” The article showed nothing like that was happening. The school was going about its job of educating the children aware that some black female students were unhappy. It was attempting to address their complaints as it should be doing. Everything else was normal in the corridors, the classrooms and the cafeteria. The situation showed a well-functioning school where all students were getting along.

Where the Globe’s bias is shown is in its surrounding comments and the select quotes it uses from its over eighty-five interviews. It calls BLS “a symbol for the city’s unhealed racial wounds” yet points to nothing to justify that statement.

It states: “In the lunchroom, in the gym, and in the library . . . no obvious signs of racial tension can be seen. True, here and there, white students cluster together, Asian students cluster together. For the most part, though, blacks and white, Hispanics and Asians are all jammed together . . . eating and preening.”  I wondered after reading that why it was necessary note white and Asians students “cluster together.” I assume the blacks and Hispanics do the same thing and that is pointed out when the reporter tells us about BLS Black which takes a prominent role in the article.

The article tells of a school where things are going well despite the furor that is being perpetuated about it in the media. One teacher posts on her door an observation by a black graduate who praised the school and said for him it held out the promise of success. The article reads “[o]utrage pours in from students  and alumni who say the quote sends a message to students of color to be grateful they’re at Latin.”

Why should there be a pouring in of outraged because a black graduate’s statement praising the school is highlighted? What does “pours in” mean? Students of color, as well as all others, should be damned grateful they have the stamina and ability to be at that school.

The last two paragraphs of the article before going on to tell about the Black History Month show tells us the views of one teacher, Lynn Burke. She complains that the headmaster is being supported by the staff and not, as the article says, “a similarly broad backing for the female students who started the soul searching.” She is quoted as saying: “For everyone to start publicly supporting the headmaster instead of engaging in the actual problem at hand is maybe some misguided energy.”

Putting that teacher’s quote in that penultimate location again shows the Globe’s maliciousness. Headmaster Teta, who from all objective criteria is doing a superb job, has been under the attack from outsiders intent on destroying BLS. They without a sound basis have demanded her resignation. Those seeking her ouster have sought and gained a federal investigation. They will demand the federal government remove her.

It is strange the teacher who complained did not understand that it is the headmaster who is under attack. No one is looking for the heads of the female students who caused this unnecessary brouhaha. Rather, it has been assumed in the face of objective evidence otherwise their complaints have merit.

The headmaster needs all the support she can get. She deserves an up-swelling of aid by those who know her good work over nine years. I suggest you read the article again and put aside the editorializing. You’ll see a well-functioning public city school going about the hard job of providing an excellent education.

Beware who you let into your house: not all people come with good intentions.






  1. Hello Matt, Great Article, I have one question to ask , who investigates the investigators ? I would love to see some neutral agency get into the Globe and perform an investigation into their Diversity Accommodations. I’ll bet you hardly any of them live in the City of Boston and , of course they have all the answers for us who live in the City. They should practice what they preach and leave a great school like Boston Latin alone to continue their mission in getting all their students a great education .

    • JRC:

      It was noteworthy that back in the time of busing none of those who were advocating it had children who were going to be affected by it. I have great doubt the Globe’s opinion makers reflects the diversity of the city. It never has. Its owners were strangers to it and still are. You must know the way things are in Boston: no one can investigate the Globe; the Globe decides who should be investigated just like the FBI. I hope the Boston people interested in keeping Latin as it is are aware of the dangers it now faces.

  2. Good article. On the St Pats Day parade the Vets should stand tough and not be bullied by the pols and the media. How many people would refuse to attend if the pols weren’t there? A handful or less. For next year the Vets should announce they are not letting any gay groups march. They have a surprise new group to take their place and they don’t have enough room. It will be Hollywood themed parade. If the pols don’t march no loss. The new group should be six marchers dressed in monkey costumes ( similar to the monkeys in the Wizard of Oz)carrying a sign that says Globe editorial staff. If a pol refuses to march a monkey clad marcher will follow a sign with the pol’s name. The John Henry banner will be followed by monkeys with Red Sox hats. All monkeys will wear dunces caps. The Globe likes to needle Southie so two can play at that game. The Vets aren’t beholden to the press. The parade is going to endure long after the Globe’s demise.