By JENNIFER HILL• Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – Following up on last night’s PTA meeting, CCS Superintendent Bill Crankshaw plans to put together a document with information on the school district’s current programs and policies and future ones “to combat harassment, bullying and discrimination.”
“Because of conversations with students, clergy, and parents on areas that they would like to see addressed,” he said. “I can assure you that moving forward, the timeline for reflecting on and doing the work is immediately.”
Crankshaw said when once finalized, the June 2019 document “Comprehensive Efforts by the Cooperstown Central School District to Create an Environment Free of Harassment, Bullying and Discrimination and a Climate Where Students Can Feel Safe,” will put it on the district’s website where people can access it.
“I heard good suggestions last night,” Crankshaw said, referring to the June 11 Cooperstown PTA meeting, at which parents and students also raised concerns and suggested ways to prevent bullying.
He said an idea arising from the PTA meeting was to set up a subcommittee of the Wellness Committee, which will meet tomorrow and at which he would introduce the idea. The subcommittee meeting would “have regular contact with parents” and have staff, teachers, parents, and students on it.
During a public commentary period, parents, students, and community members commented on Crankshaw’s and the board’s response to the May 30 incident, where a student was allegedly assaulted by others and called homophobic slurs.
Diana Foster of Gilbertsville said to the Board, “You guys have to do better…kids are scared to come forward. Do better for these kids.” She said she homeschools her children because at home, “there is no racism, no homophobia, no bullying.”
Village trustee MacGuire Benton, who graduated from Cooperstown High School in 2016, said bullying had been “rather consistent over time” and that “even as a junior and senior, there were some violent incidents and rather blatant racism.”
“Revisiting this has been a wonderful idea and I wanted to voice my support for it,” Benton added.
About 15 members of the Oneonta Pride Alliance were at the meeting, including the Alliance’s head, Elayne Mosher Campoli, who said they were there for support.
“Not one of us believes students should be harassed and marginalized,” Crankshaw said.