By Chris Paul
The Londonderry High School Varsity Cheerleading squad will remain suspended while further investigation takes place according to an announcement made during the Monday night, Sept. 25 School Board meeting.
Members made the decision to reinstate the Junior Varsity Cheerleading program, but said the varsity squad will remain on hold for another two-weeks while investigators continue to look into bullying issues.
Chairman, Bob Slater, told the audience attending the meeting they had met with the school’s attorney just before the meeting and determined more time is needed to look into the allegations brought up earlier in the month on bullying with the program.
Slater read from a prepared statement, “We thank you all for you patience as the district works through this investigation in the cheerleading program. We have received an update on the status of the investigation and are pleased to inform you that the JV Cheerleading program is reinstated effective immediately.”
He added, “The investigator is not yet able to make such a statement with regard to the varsity cheer team. To date, the investigator has conducted interviews with 20 individuals over the course of 24 interview sessions. She estimates that she has approximately 12 interviews remaining and she continues to narrow the allegations.”
He also said the remaining interviews will be conducted over the next two-weeks and she will present preliminary findings to the board on Oct. 9, before their next meeting.
Slater finished by saying that the board voted, in a non-public session, to continue the suspension until Oct. 9. At which point the suspension will be reviewed.
During Public Comment, held just after the announcement, resident, Brenda McCarthy, spoke on the subject of bullying in the school district. She said she doesn’t have children in the Londonderry school system any longer, but felt compelled to speak.
McCarthy said her daughter experienced “racial discrimination and bullying for a very long time.”
She said, “The culture in this school district with the racism, bullying, harassment, and discrimination is just so ridiculous. It happens in every single hallway in this school.” Adding that she experienced it in middle school also.
She finished by saying, “It’s absolutely horrendous. This school better step up”.
Resident, Michelle Carrozzella, addressed the Press Release that announced the suspension of the program. She felt the release put children in “harms way” saying students were cyber-bullied after the press release went out.
Pointing at Superintendent, Dan Black, she said, “Your statement. You are the biggest bully in this room.”
Stephanie Hatchell, who’s daughter is a freshman not on the team, reiterated the fact that children are being bullied on social media because of the press release, explaining that coaches, parents, and students are being falsely accused of being bullies.
Nothing was said by the board after the comments were heard.