COOPERSTOWN – The mother of two 7-year-olds was fearful as this edition went to press Tuesday evening, Oct. 1, that one of her sons would be barred from Cooperstown Elementary School the following morning, even though she believed both boys are vaccinated in accordance with a new state law.
That morning, she had received an email from CCS Superintendent of Schools Bill Crankshaw directing her to remove her children from school for failing to be fully vaccinated.
Amanda Perrault, a Hartwick College graduate who works at Bassett Healthcare and lives in the Town of Hartwick, said she has a religious objection to using vaccines developed from aborted fetal tissue. (The Immunization Action Coalition reports that two cell lines from two legally aborted fetuses in the 1960s are the basis of vaccines for varicella, rubella, hepatitis A and other ailments.)
However, since the state Legislature removed the religious exemption in June, the two children have been undergoing the vaccination regimen, and are due for their final injections Oct. 16. “As far as I understand it,” she said, “it’s affected a lot of families statewide.”
Meanwhile, tests (titers) as recently as Monday, Sept. 30, showed Perrault’s two children are free of any of the feared diseases, and she believes that she is in compliance with all associated provisions of the state Public Health Law.
The email from Crankshaw included “as it was explained to me,” which caused the mother to believe that the superintendent may not understand that her children are compliant and in the process of becoming fully compliant.
Later in the day, she said she met with the elementary principal, Ann Meccariello, and school nurse Kim Stahl and explained that one of her boys is on a schedule of shots that will be complete Oct. 16. A vaccination was administered faultily to her second son, she continued, and cannot be administered again for a set period of time.
Perrault said she recognizes the need for vaccines, and while in high school at Mount Markham participated on a mission to Bolivia to vaccinate children against measles. But raised a Catholic and now a Christian, she withheld vaccinations heretofore because of her religious beliefs.
With her husband Cory fighting cancer and tending babies at home, she has no daycare option if the children can’t go to school, she said.
Reached later Tuesday, Crankshaw said “the general approach is to be compassionate and understanding, but we certainly need to defer to state law and the advice of our medical professionals” – he cited Dr. Phil Haevner, the district medical director, in his email to Perrault – “and our attorneys as well.”
OPENING RECEPTION – 5 – 7 p.m. Celebrate group art exhibit “The Land On Which We Gather,” honoring new SUNY president Barbara Jean Morris. Features 40+ works by 8 artists of native descent in various mediums from painting to beading, sculpture. Martin-Mullen Art Gallery, SUNY Oneonta. 607-436-3456 or visit suny.oneonta.edu/art-department/art-galleries
COOPERSTOWN – Former Cooperstown Central School gym teacher Justin Hobbie pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation of a child, nine months after the Department of Homeland Security raided his home and found child pornography on his computer in December 2018, United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith announced in a release.
In pleading guilty, Hobbie, 41, Springfield Center admitted that from 2015 to 2018, he persuaded, induced, enticed and coerced three girls under the age of 16 to transmit live depictions of sexually explicit activity to him. Hobbie then recorded them so he could look at them again, according to the U.S. attorney.
DUCK DERBY – 10 a.m. Help launch a flock of rubber duckies at the headwaters of the Susquehanna. Support Cooperstown Leo Club on day trip to the United Nations in NYC. Cost, $5/duck or $20/5-ducks at Otesaga, Mel’s @ 22, others. Finish line just South of Main St. Bridge, Cooperstown. 607-282-2956 or visit www.facebook.com/CooperstownLionsClub/
COOPERSTOWN – While contemplating how to respond to a student’s beating and the furor it evoked, Cooperstown Central School Superintendent Bill Crankshaw got some welcome good news.
After a four-year wait, CCS received word Monday, June 17, it has received $500,000 in state Smart School Bond money intended for security and infrastructure improvements in the schools.
“It’s great news and it’s a relief,” said Crankshaw.
It means the district has funds to help assuage parents’ and students’ safety concerns after two high school students allegedly called a classmate a “f—-t” and kicked and beat him.
Parents and students packed a Cooperstown PTA meeting on Tuesday, June 11, and a school board one Thursday, June 13, some upset at school administrators’ handling of the alleged attack and bullying prevention, in general.
Of the half-million dollars, $240,000 will be used to install security cameras campus-wide “in areas that have the most traffic and potential for safety concerns” and about $70,000 will go to installing “a new centralized proximity-reader system connected to the security camera system,” according to CCS’ Smart School Bond’s Plan Summary in using the funds.
COOPERSTOWN – All students are safe and law enforcement is present at Cooperstown Schools after Superintendent William Crankshaw received a tip that a student allegedly had access to a firearm.
“During the early morning hours, I was notified by a community member that a student may have access to a firearm,” he wrote in an email to parents this morning. “Law enforcement was also notified, and conducted an immediate investigation. It was concluded by law enforcement that there was no threat to the School District. This student will not be in attendance today.”
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.”
COOPERSTOWN –Two weeks after high school boys allegedly attacked another student and shouted homophobic slurs, the Cooperstown Board of Trustees voted in its meeting this morning “unanimously and loudly” to strengthen a 2016 proclamation that the village welcomes people of all backgrounds and does not tolerate acts of bigotry.
“I think it’s important to reiterate how much we in Cooperstown deplore racist and homophobic behavior,” said Richard Sternberg, one of the Trustees who spearheaded the action and vote. “I found it very heartening we did this.”
BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION – 9 a.m. Learn about the historic events in 1939 while celebrating the Baseball Hall of Fame’s 80th birthday. Baseball Hall of Fame, 25 Main St., Cooperstown. Info, www.baseballhall.org/, 607-547-7200.
COOPERSTOWN – Last week, a 15-year-old Cooperstown High School student was arrested and charged with third-degree assault, a misdemeanor, for allegedly assaulting a student.
According to Trooper Aga Dembinska, Troop C public information officer, the student, whose name is being withheld because of his age, was issued a ticket to appear in family court. The case, Dembinska said, is closed.
According to a post on the Cooperstown Speaks Facebook group, the alleged incident, happened May 30 at the school.
COOPERSTOWN – The Cooperstown PTA will hold an open comment session during tonight’s meeting to allow parents to share concerns about an alleged bullying incident where a student was beaten and called homophobic slurs in the high school hallway in May.
Board President Marcy Birch declined to elaborate on the incident, citing an “ongoing disciplinary matter.” The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the school.
If it’s Albert Einstein in the hallowed halls of Cooperstown Central School, it must be the “Night of the Notables,” the culmination of eighth graders studying famous historical figures. Parent Bill Weldon, in top photo, (daughter Bradley was at another booth), confers with the famous physicist (Ben Grampp), as well as Stan Lee (Andrew Mulligan) and Steven Speilberg (Felix Palmer). In the background is Abraham Lincoln (Savannah Ackley). Also on hand were, inset left, Christopher Columbus (Fred Hodgson) and, at right, Ben Carson (Aliyah Romulus) and many other of the rich and FOY-muss. (Jim Kevlin/AllOTSEGO.com)