I believe that we must as parents, insist that the school board refrain from sweeping the most current bullying situation under the rug. This was not even typical bullying. It was at the very least, attempted rape and/or sodomy. I'm basing that statement soley on what I've read in the newspapers, on the CoopHallofShame site (which I hate, as it encourages everyone to boycott Coop), and my 11th-grader son's statements. He has not said much, refuses to name names, and appears afraid of giving me ANY "inside scoop" for fear of retribution at school.
Check out the video of the 12/14/11 school board meeting and you'll see how obvious it is that Superintendent Hebert and the rest of the board members clearly want this issue to go away, without giving any answers to the public/parents. Mrs. Pacherille was attempting to read a statement of her concerns as the parent of a bullied teen, and she was constantly being hushed by School Board Member Scalci, the superintendent, and other board members. They very awkwardly and obviously were dismissive of her and her statements, and made several unsuccessful attempts to move past the bullying issue and Mrs. Pacherille's statements, and onto the next order of business.
Her very relevant questions included what the school is going to do to protect students in the future, what the school is doing now regarding the punishments of the hazing perpetrators, and how are the coaches being held accountable. We have the right to know the answers to these questions, and Mrs. Pacherille has the right to ask these questions. The board members stated she could not use names. Even after she continued to read her statment without using names, they found other ridiculous reasons to try to shut her up. I find these coverups to be reprehensible. My own son told me of his own experiences being bullied a couple of years ago, and I was told by the administration that it just wasn't happening. My son stopped telling me anything that involves bullying because he is afraid of being questioned about it at school, and moreso because he's afraid of being targeted further. I can't wait until these bullies graduate. Unfortunately though, Jeffrey Flynn, one of the admitted pereptrators who accepted some sort of plea deal with the school (which the board would NOT discuss) was suspended for over 60 days, and will likely fail the 12th grade as a result. I wouldn't be surprised if he's being tutored at home at the tax payers' expense, and could possibly graduate with his class this year, pushed through by the administration just to get rid of him. If not, I will be concerned about him (and the others) roaming the halls of Coop, possibly targetting my own son and others next year, as he'll be in my son's grade if he fails this year.
As a parent and resident of Cooperstown, I want to know the whole story...not just a dismissive "We're handling it."