Boston

Influential Boston Educator, 91, Stabbed Multiple Times in Franklin Park

Boston police are still searching for the suspect following Tuesday night's stabbing, which left the victim in the hospital in stable condition

NBC Universal, Inc.

The victim of Tuesday night's stabbing in Franklin Park is a 91-year-old woman, who was stabbed multiple times, according to Boston police.

Civil rights icon Jean McGuire — a former Boston School Committee member and the first Black woman elected to the panel, as well as the longtime head of the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, or METCO, was attacked while walking her dog.

STAY IN THE KNOW

icon

Watch NBC10 Boston news for free, 24/7, wherever you are.

icon

Get Boston local news, weather forecasts, lifestyle and entertainment stories to your inbox. Sign up for NBC Boston’s newsletters.

A 91-year-old woman, well-known in the Boston community, was stabbed repeatedly while walking her dog.

The METCO Directors Association confirmed McGuire was stabbed and expressed dismay at what happened.

"It is alarming that this act of violence would happen to Dr. McGuire in her own community," the statement said, adding that the association was praying for her recovery.

The attack happened on Playstead Road in Roxbury. Police were called around 8:50 p.m.

No arrests have been made, and police are still searching for a suspect. Authorities say the attacker may have also suffered injuries during the struggle.

Jean McGuire served as the executive director of METCO, which aims to increase racial diversity in Massachusetts by allowing students to attend schools outside their districts, for 43 years, from 1973 to 2016.

The 91-year-old victim is in the hospital in stable condition. It’s unclear what the motive for this stabbing may have been — and whether it was targeted or random, according to police.

Anyone with any information on this stabbing is asked to call police.

McGuire served as the executive director of METCO, which aims to increase racial diversity in Massachusetts by allowing students to attend schools outside their districts, for 43 years, from 1973 to 2016.

McGuire "was known as a fierce advocate for METCO students, who generally received better educational opportunity through their participation, but at times also faced racism, violence, and isolation in overwhelmingly white suburban spaces," according to Northeastern University's John D. O’Bryant African American Institute.

Boston Mayor Michelle Wu addressed the stabbing at a news conference about the city's new plan for Boston Common Wednesday.

"I'm disgusted and angry to know that an elder in our community had to fear for her safety going about her daily routine, walking her dog," Wu said.

She didn't identify the victim as McGuire but called her "an inspiration in every way."

Jeriline Brady-McGinnis, a friend and neighbor of McGuire's who considers her like a sister, said she is beyond angry.

"She’s such a fighter, but whoever did this, they actually hurt a lot of people," she said. "She’s a well-loved woman, a well-cared for woman, a community that loves her, a METCO program that she invented, that she built from nothing."

Leaders in the Black community gathered at Franklin Park Wednesday to call on officials and law enforcement to come up with a plan of action to address the ongoing violence.

"We will no longer stand for the violence and unrest that is happening in our communities," said Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden.

A day before the stabbing, two teens were shot, with a 14-year-old being killed.

"We will not be at rest as a community until the person who committed this crime is brought to justice," said Rev. Kevin Peterson of New Democracy Coalition.

"It is the police department's job, but it all of our responsibility. We have to come together," Muhammad Mosque No. 11 Student Minister Randy Muhammad said.

"Why is it that a 91-year-old woman cannot have faith or trust in her community to just walk her dog?" exclaimed Boston City Councilor Tania Fernandes Anderson, who also noted her mother was mentored by McGuire for about 20 years.

People close to her say McGuire was walking her dog, Bailey, when she was attacked.

"He knocked her down and she started fighting and he was kicking her and punching her and hitting her, and she kicked him between his legs," Brady-McGinnis said.

Brady-McGuinnis recounted the conversation she had with McGuire over the phone Wednesday morning, adding that McGuire was groped and feared she would be raped.

"The only animal in that park at the time was that man," said Brady-McGinnis.

McGuire headed METCO in the 70s, working to enroll students of color at white schools for more than 40 years. But her fight for justice and equality isn't over yet.

"Women and children in this community right now don't feel safe," said Diane Wilkerson..

Wilkerson, also a friend of McGuire's and a Roxbury resident, said she met with the 91-year-old at the hospital, and said she has a lot of fight left in her.

"'Don't make this about me,' is what she said. 'Make it about all of us, and let's really focus our attention on changing and making sure we do what's right,'" Wilkerson recalled.

As of Wednesday night, McGuire remained at the hospital recovering from her stab wounds.

Contact Us