COOPERSTOWN – Bobby Walker, a CCS senior and leader of the Otsego County Young Republicans, said he was called into the principal’s office and told to “remove” e-petitions he was circulating on behalf of Laurie Pestar, the elementary school secretary who was seeking an unpaid leave while she fights cancer.
Walker refused to do so, and asked Middle/High School Principal Donna Lucy who had told her to rein him in. “I cannot tell you,” she replied.
“We do have a voice and we will not allow ourselves to be bullied into submission,” the senior told the school board that was meeting this evening in the packed middle/high school library. (It appeared most attendees were there for their Participation in Government class.)
COOPERSTOWN – Friends, colleagues and the Marine son of Laurie Pestar, a 30-year elementary school secretary fighting cancer, confronted the Cooperstown Central School board this evening – not so much for rejecting her request for a six-month unpaid leave of absence, but by doing so in such a cold and impersonal way.
“I will never forgive this board for this callous and budget-driven decision,” her son, Jeremy Denmeade, told the school board.
In response to an audience question, school board President Theresa Russo would only say the school board has various reasons to give unpaid leaves, and declined to discuss the issue further, saying it was a personnel matter.