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A Letter to the RCS Board of Education

26 Jul

Warning: If you are a student or a minor, please leave this blog NOW!

We Have Received A Letter From A Resident Reflecting Some Thoughts On the Board’s Actions.
We thought you’d like to see it.

Mr Lukens:
 
You brought up a very good point at the July 24th BoE meeting when you asked for numbers of players, ancillary staff, coaches, etc. That information is needed to really evaluate the requirements and to eliminate the nepotism, graft, waste, etc. that is rampant in this school district and to get a handle on better managing the almost autonomous athletic activities in the RCS CSD.
 
I would recommend also that you obtain the same figures from surrounding school districts such as Bethlehem, Coxsackie, even from Catskill, etc.
 
The regional BOCES must have some figures and if they do not, they should! A lot of taxpayer money goes into sports and athletics as well as the additional moneys paid out by parents for extra activities not covered by school budget resources. That’s yet another reason why tighter controls must be enforced on the RCS Sports or Athletic Associations, and why they must be called to task to report to the BoE as the representative of the taxpayers and parents. No excuses. Transparency!
 
The new BoE is making a great impression. It’s finally putting its foot down and not accepting the status quo. Obviously, it’s pissing a lot of people off–mostly those who have something to hide–and you can expect that they’re doing their dirty work behind the scenes but we can only hope that the good people of this RCS district and of this RCS community can see the good that is going to come from tighter controls, and forcing the crooks to fess up, while ensuring that anyone operating any activity in the schools, on school property, involving students, or even giving the impression that they are operating for or on behalf of the RCS schools must be held accountable and must provide proper credentials.
 
In addition, I would further recommend that the BoE pass a resolution requiring any and all persons involved in activities in the schools, on school grounds and properties, having contact with students, or supervising activities be required to participate in recognized training programs that focus on recognizing, reporting, and preventing abuse, whether sexual or bullying, and that any such training be made a part of the official record.
 
Once again, thank you and your non-teachers-clique colleagues for having the guts, the courage to stand up to the weasels on the board of education and in the community, and to do what’s right, what’s in the public’s interest, what’s in the long-term best interests of the children in the care, custody, and under the supervision of the schools.
 
Please share this message with your fellow board members.
 
[Name Withheld at Writer’s Request]
 

AMEN, BABY!
The Editor

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6 responses to “A Letter to the RCS Board of Education

  1. Pundit

    July 28, 2012 at 8:18 am

    ..Do Teachers, Administrators and office staff have to submit to random Drug and Alcohol Testing? If not, why not? They are supposed to be responsible and educate our kids in these matters and, whatever is good for the goose….
    **************************************************************************
    On a different subject, are there ‘security’ cameras monitoring the HS hallways and known ‘areas of couples congregating’ like the area by the HS staircase? If not, why not and if so, apparently no one looks at them.

    Cameras ‘catch’ people doing a lot of things and not only in the Bus Garage area…..speaking of that, the next set of cameras purchased by RCSCSD should also have an Audio pickup, which should prove interesting on the buses-those drivers are given a lot of grief.
    They would also help at PTA/PTO and Staff meetings; parents and administrators-if they care- could listen to the goings-on on the buses and in the closed door meeting rooms and no one would need a video….and, as they say, you can take that to the bank.

    This would also prove to make the BLT/DLT/PTO meetings interesting and informative for all of us who are funding the District and could be put up on the web so we all can understand what the ‘Leadership’ is thinking.

    Additionally Board members could ‘attend’ the meetings too.
    Any and all meetings-, including ALL those held after normal school hours should be held in recorded areas. We need to be able to see, know and understand what is going on in OUR District.

    Why wasn’t the athletic field irrigated?
    The sprinkling seems so old-school…. and obviously is somewhat labor intensive…and results in non-green areas.

    Enough for now..

    FWIW.

    Like

     
    • Fides qua Creditur

      July 28, 2012 at 9:42 am

      Thank you, Pundit! Many, many, many excellent points. And, if I may distill much of it down to one general statement:

      ANY TIME RCS CDS BUSINESS IS DONE EITHER ON THE TAXPAYER DIME OR ON TAXPAYER TIME IT SHOULD BE VIDEO/DIGITALLY RECORDED COMPLETE WITH VIDEO AND AUDIO, AND AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC FOR REVIEW.

      This includes what goes on in any common area in the HS, on the buses, in union meetings if they are held during normal school hours or if a teacher is a representative and being paid for his/her union activities. If the taxpayer is paying for it, it belongs to the taxpayer. Period.

      Until age 21, those young persons are minors. If they are minors, everything they do and say is their parent’s responsibility. As such, it is the parents’ property. In the case of conduct and discipline, or incidents that might incur liability, anything the school administrators record in writing, audially, orally, video/digitally, must be made available to parents for their information, is subject to parent’s review and scrutiny and, should never be viewed by school administrators or teachers with the student without the parent or guardian being present.

      There are too many secrets in this district and some people seem to think that they can decide what and when is shared with the public, or with the RCS CSD board of education.

      I think the reader’s letter hits the nail on the head, and at the July 24, 2012, BoE meeting at least Mr Lukens and Mr Vadney made the point that the BoE needs to be kept in the loop and it has not been keep in the loop. As Vadney and Lukens clearly stated, no outside organizeion is to operate on school property without the BoE being informed, and given the opportunity to review or approve it. The Whalen, Engel, Latter, and Reville group may not like to hear the word accountability and authority when it comes to controlling the little fiefdoms that have operated for so many years with a lot of autonomy and authority but NO accountability, but I personally hope that the BoE continues its present course and takes the reins out of the hands of the secret societies in the district.

      Great comment, Pundit!

      The Editor

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  2. Pundit

    July 26, 2012 at 9:59 am

    In addition, as in other Occupations and Business Enterprises, any/everyone involved in activities as noted in paragraph 5 in the letter, everyone involved should have a thorough background check completed-including DMV, Criminal Justice and be required to submit to a drug screening test. RCS should keep this information on file.

    This is not singling anyone out but it is just the way things are done in the real world.

    In some occupations, the costs for these tests are either absorbed by the ‘Company’ or by the applicant. In the proposed RCS case, either the person signing the checks should pick up the cost or anyone profiting from the work should provide the funds for the testing. In addition, the cost could be shared.

    FWIW

    Nice letter-on target and to the point.

    Like

     
    • Fides qua Creditur

      July 26, 2012 at 10:17 am

      Thank you, Pundit, for your comment. It’s really nice to be able to publish contributions from readers and subscribers. They don’t necessarily have to agree with the direction this blog tends to follow, but if they’re relevant and civil, why not share them. We just happen to agree 200% with the letter, and with your additional comments and recommendations.

      Thank you!
      The Editor

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      • Simon

        July 27, 2012 at 9:24 am

        I also agree 100% with Pundit… I always thought that it was unusual that teachers go through a bunch of background screening but the Board Members (and other staff as well) don’t.

        S

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      • Fides qua Creditur

        July 27, 2012 at 9:49 am

        Our point, Simon, is not to be intrusive or invasive by infringing personal or private information unless necessary for the protection of the children, the public’s interest, and the common good. The point being made in the case of the Sports Association and other organizations providing services or having direct contact with the children is that the should be thoroughly investigated. It is totally ridiculous that teachers are allegedly not subject to drug testing; that makes no sense at all. It also makes no sense that they are not required to take courses in professional ethics, boundaries, crisis management, etc. I think it would be stretching the practice and perhaps even abusing it if board members were subjected to such scrutiny simply because they are sujected to intensive scrutiny during the campaign process and the public announces its confidence and trust in their fitness to perform in virtue of their election.

        Members of the sports/athletic association, the coaches, vendors, etc. are generally not subject to such scrutiny–the dollars being the deciding factor in most situations–but the Sandusky and the Paterno cases should provide quite sufficient cause for increased awareness.

        No, I don’t feel that every position needs to be thoroughly scritinized but I do feel that the administration has no choice in others.

        Does anyone know if our school coaches are required to participate in abuse training? Are they subject to drug testing, background checks?

        Peace!

        Like

         

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