I know, it's been a while. I stopped updating about the story because everything that came out since the last time was either a rehash of old news or just so revolting that I didn't want to write once again on the bad behavior of adults.
There was a board meeting at the school last night and, apparently, not many people have learned to behave any more mature than they have in the past.
This following details of the meeting were learned from the words of two people present, both of whom sent me separate emails soon after the meeting ended:
It was a regularly scheduled board meeting at Mepham High School. The board announced their decision to not renew the contracts of the football coaches [what's not mentioned in the Newsday article is that two of the coaches will remain at the school in teaching positions and of them will stay on baseball coach]. This measure by the board was taken after the coaches were given a suggestion to resign and they refused to do so.
The board then went on with its regular agenda, discussing business and other actions taken by the board since the last meeting. These included the implementation of programs aimed at reducing hazing and promoting character education.
Towards the end of the meeting, one teacher stood up, with about a dozen behind her, and voiced their support for the coaches. Several of the parents who supported the board's decision to let the coaches go stood up and walked out at that point. The rest of the crowd cheered the teachers, and it basicallly turned into a pep rally after that.
Now, for my view on this.
Let's take a quote from one of the fired coaches:
Varsity coach Kevin McElroy said after the meeting he was "incredibly disappointed" by a decision he thought "100 percent unjust," and said, "This decision by this board of education has taken a stake and driven it through the heart of this community again."
Not really. What's driven a stake through the heart of the Bellmore community is the non-response and non-action taken by the school administrators and the coaches as soon as the rapes - and that's what they were, rapes, not hazings - were made known.
My daughter is going away next week on an overnight trip with her school. You can bet your ass that I am holding the teachers/chaperones responsible for whatever happens to my daughter while she is in their charge, just as these coaches were responsible for the kids in their care at the football camp.
Moreover, the coaches knew that there was a least one kid on the football team who threatened younger players before the trip that they would be hurt. At least one player had previous behavior problems and had served and in-school suspensions.
With that knowledge in hand, the coaches should have been doing bed checks periodically during the night. They didn't and they let those victims down.
The community is now divided between those who are rallying behind the victims and those who are rallying behind the coaches.
Those poor kids who suffered through this abuse now have to face the fact that their teachers support the adults who let this happen to them. And make no mistake, they did let this happen.
One of those teachers said this after the meeting: "We feel strongly that something like this could have happened under the supervision of any teacher, any club adviser, any supervisor, any coach, any administrator in any school, in any community, in any state across our country."
Yea, and I bet in any other school in any other state, heads would have rolled immediately.
One of the emailers said that the support for the victims is larger than it was in the beginning; it's just that the supporters of the coaches are louder, so to speak.
This whole thing makes not only the community of Bellmore look bad; as a neighbor of Bellmore, I am guilty by location, if you read some of the papers around the country when they write about Mepham.
I am embarassed, ashamed and really astonished at the behavior of the school, its staff and its administrators, and many of the parents and alumni.