AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Fall out continues for the Amherst-Pelham Regional Public Schools,
with now another member making the choice to walk away from their position.

Amherst School Committee member Allison McDonald has resigned and has released her resignation letter to the public.

Just days after it was announced that Dr. Michael Morris would be leaving his role as Amherst-Pelham Public Schools Superintendent, Regional School Committee Chair Ben Herrington resigned. On Thursday, another staff member, Allison McDonald announced her resignation.

These resignations come just before the start of the new school year, and following some recent controversy over the treatment of transgender students at the middle school.

“The reports of harm experienced by trans and queer students at the middle school are upsetting and heartbreaking, and the allegations of misconduct by some staff are disturbing. Like my colleagues on the school committee, I volunteer my time because I care about our students and our schools, and hearing these reports and allegations about the district we serve is deeply unsettling,” McDonald started off in her resignation statement.

She continues to state, “I likely will be skewered for my decision to leave. The bullies will read it as vindication and an admission of shame or guilt or both. Others may say that I’ve let the bullies win. The truth is that our entire community is letting the bullies win.”

Halley Kelly, who serves on the governing body of the Massachusetts Democratic Party, as the minority representative for gender non-conforming people, responded with: “With how the school committee has handled the violent bigotry in ARMS, we as the Amherst, Pelham, Shutesbury community have to ask if this is the example we want to be setting for our kids. Is being a bystander to someone being complicit in abuse the way we want our kids to act when they become adults?”

Their full statement can be found below:

Back in May, several staff members were put on leave as a Title IX investigation began into the handling of reported LGBTQ bullying. That report is expected to be out sometime this week.

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