(Amherst, MA) – Racial tensions in Amherst have led to the ouster of the regional school committee chairman. White Lawrence O’Brien has been replaced by black Trevor Baptiste to lead the school board. Member Amilcar Shabbaz made the nomination, and says the changing of the guard makes a statement to the community by demonstrating the importance of diversity on the committee. Baptiste had said during yesterday’s meeting he felt O’Brien had put the “kibosh” on his viewpoints. A series of racial incidents at Amherst Regional High School has led to the tensions. WHMP will hold a community forum next Thursday on the racial tensions in Amherst schools.