Problems ignored at Fredonia

Commentary

Questions surround a number of recent Fredonia school board actions, the writer says.

Public education is defined as “a school that is maintained at public expense for the education of the children of a community or district and that constitutes a part of a system of free public education commonly including primary and secondary schools.” Therefore the staff and in a school district would be defined as public servants.

Recent events at the Fredonia Central School District negate those definitions. Last year Middle School Principal Andrew Ludwig was removed from his position, allegedly for restraining a child to ensure the safety of the other students. Both students and community members rallied around Principal Ludwig, but the school board refused to reinstate Ludwig.

All of this comes months after hiring a new Superintendent Jeffery Sortisio. And what’s this all about, you ask? Basically, the board has its own agenda, dictated by school board President Michael Bobseine. He wanted Ludwig removed and they hired Sortisio to do it. Then they paid Sortisio off by extending his contract and giving him an $8,000 raise. The school currently is without any real vision or leadership. Just a big old bully in the district office.

This is troubling to me on many levels. It reeks of deception and iron fisted politics on the school boards behalf, on the taxpayer’s money, at the student’s expense. It has caused incalculable damage to the school and created a hostile work environment within the school and was quite possibly the main reason for the surprise retirement of Ms Edgerton, a lady who was more than a professional, she was a true saint, loved by students and parents alike. It also sends a message to students that might have behavioral issues that they now have carte blanche and can do as they please without repercussion.

The Fredonia school board further went against the wishes and best interest of the students and community by appointing Lisa Powell Fortna to the board to fill a vacancy due to the surprise resignation, on Aug. 13, despite the fact that Andrew Ludwig had received more than 200 write-in votes in the last school board election on May 15.

The only school board member who showed any integrity in representing the students and community has been David Giambrone, whom may I add is the only member who has worked as a teacher for the district. I feel it’s time we come together as a community and let our voices be heard.

To see that we have school board members who care about our kids and community, not ones who would disregard us at our financial expense. Bobseine has to be voted out, I feel the other ones barring Giambrone should be voted out too.

I also feel Sortisio should be replaced, as he’s proving to be an expensive bully with no vision. The Fredonia community has a long history of coming together and doing what’s best for the community, I feel the next school board election shall be no different.

Michael James Mercurio is a Fredonia resident.

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