Events involving the adults running the Hamburg School District more resemble reality TV than anything to do with education. Someone has got to put a stop to the madness.
Perhaps that could be the first order of business for Interim Superintendent Richard Jetter. He knows he’ll have his hands full.
The intrigue has all the makings of a gripping reality show: accusations of harassment; stalking and threats, at least verbal ones. Who knows where the truth lies? If any of it is true, those responsible should be held accountable. But why isn’t there this level of angst over the education of 3,700 students? What about dealing with a $2.23 million budget gap? Too boring?
As reported, two board members have said they are afraid to attend board meetings and a third is under investigation, accused of harassing a principal. At least the names remain somewhat the same, even if the details vary from script to script.
Vice President Sally Stephenson and her daughter, Board Member Holly Balaya, said they do not feel safe at board meetings, at least as long as Boston Valley Principal James Martinez, who is also the district’s safety officer, attends the meetings. So they did not attend last Tuesday’s board meetings. Jetter supported Martinez.
Balaya has accused Martinez of following her out of a community meeting and then doing the unspeakable. Speaking about forces out to get her and threatening the job of a family member if she and Board Member Catherine Schrauth Forcucci “don’t keep their mouths shut.”
Martinez has reportedly filed an internal complaint of a hostile work environment against Stephenson, Balaya, Schrauth Forcucci and two employees of the district.
Each party is told not to have contact with the other and the pendulum swings back and forth with no apparent end in sight. Things even got so heated that when Stephenson and Schrauth Forcucci objected to Martinez being in the hall, (remember, he is also the district’s safety officer) the scene escalated off the Richter scale.
The entire scenario is ridiculous and just another incident in one that has been going on for three years. It is long past time for grown-ups to stop acting like children and get to the business of education and policy-making on behalf of actual children who could use better role models.