Report: New Bedford Public School Staffer Resigns Following Facebook Post
A New Bedford Public School Department employee has resigned after violent commentary seemingly posted to social media under his name was widely shared on Facebook.
Late Thursday district spokesman Arthur Motta confirmed to the Standard-Times that “Peter Larkin is no longer employed by NBPS,” adding “New Bedford Public Schools does not comment on ongoing investigations or personnel matters.”
Further, Heather Larkin -- director of guidance at Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School and Peter Larkin’s wife -- told the newspaper via text message that Peter had resigned, effective July 1, and that he has no comment.
Larkin's name until recently was listed on the Carney Academy Elementary School website as administrator of attendance. By Saturday morning, Larkin's name had disappeared from the roster.
On LinkedIn, a man named Peter Larkin listed his position, since 2006, as attendance officer at the New Bedford Public Schools. A Greater New Bedford Regional Vocational Technical High School 2019 fall sports web page listed Larkin as a football coach. The newspaper reached out to Superintendent James O’Brien for confirmation but did not immediately hear back.
On Tuesday, New Bedford Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Anderson released a non-specific statement saying “Individual comments that highlight or support acts of violence or demeaning behaviors are not representative of who we are in the New Bedford Public Schools district — and frankly we have no room for those whose detrimental behaviors in the name of free speech will limit our progress on behalf of the amazing students we have the honor to educate, inspire, and prepare for a multicultural world.” In his statement, signed “In solidarity and with respect.” Anderson also stated the district “is an anti-racist organization.”
On Facebook, screenshots of comments encouraging mass violence, allegedly made by Peter Larkin, were widely shared on Facebook. “I would roll tanks and bulldozers. Mush any human in the way. Shoot everyone else. Pile up the bodies and burn them on national TV,” the screenshots said.
School Committee Vice Chairperson Christopher Cotter told the Standard-Times that on Monday he received an email from a parent alerting him to the Facebook content, and that he forwarded the email to Anderson and Heather Emsley, executive director of human capital services. Cotter said he was notified that they would investigate.