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Duxbury School District Wrapped in New Lawsuit, Following Football Fallout

March 31, 2021 / Athletic Administration
In the wake of the school’s football program under the national spotlight for using anti-Semitic language during in-game play calls, the Duxbury (MA) school officials are denying alleged claims they “failed to take reasonable steps” to thwart repeated sexual assaults in a new lawsuit.

According to a report from the Boston Herald, the parents of 27-year-old Joseph “Parker” Foley, who died last year from a drug overdose, are accusing his Duxbury Middle School gym teacher of raping him, according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit continues with his parents claiming that is the reason why he became an addict.

anti-semeticThe family is not only suing Duxbury Public Schools, but also the gym teacher, John Blake, who also served as the high school’s varsity boys’ hockey team, according to the Herald.

Additionally, Foley’s parents claim the school was “grossly negligent,” and did not do enough to protect their son, who was 12 at the time of the alleged acts.

“The setup of the boys’ locker room at the Duxbury Middle School allowed Blake to act as a gatekeeper for boys attending gym class, and Blake used his power and authority to hold boys back from gym class at his whim and discretion,” the parents’ lawyer wrote in a complaint filed to Plymouth County Superior County, according to the Herald.

The alleged act took place in the mid-2000s, however the school district denies those allegations against them specifically.

“We are understandably disturbed by what has been alleged, but need to make clear that this District took the proper actions once we were notified of a complaint,” School Committee Chair Kellie Bresnehan and Superintendent of Schools John Antonucci said in a joint statement to the Herald. “It is absolutely untrue that the District failed to take reasonable steps and/or implement reasonable safeguards to avoid such acts from occurring in our schools, as is alleged in the lawsuit.”

According to the Herald, accusations against Blake had previously surfaced two separate times, in 2018 and 2020, the district said it placed Blake on leave while launching investigations into the accusations.

To read the full story from the Boston Herald, click here