If the public outcry at the Oct. 4 meeting of Skaneateles Board of Education displayed an obvious fracture in the community, the meeting Tuesday night showed the healing process had begun.
The board announced it had concluded its investigation into the varsity football program and will provide the results of that investigation to Section III officials and to Coach Tim Green. Although the timetable is unclear, board President Evan Dreyfuss said the report will be delivered “shortly” to the parties involved. It was not made public Tuesday night.
“We don’t know how long Section III will take to digest the information and make a decision as to how to proceed,” Dreyfuss said. “Once it’s been processed, we’ll wait to hear back from them.”
“We’re just glad we’re in a position to start to move forward,” said Superintendent Phil D’Angelo.
In preparing the report, Dreyfuss said the board and those who investigated the complaints regarding the football team spent a great deal of time separating the facts from unsubstantiated rumors. Previously, the district has indicated there were 63 complaints filed regarding the program.
Both D’Angelo and Dreyfuss said they believe the Lakers will be allowed to play out the remainder of their historic season, which has seen the team roll through the regular season to a perfect 7-0 record and a top seed in the Section III tournament.
“We’d like to see them win the title,” D’Angelo said.
From the outset, it appeared the contentious atmosphere of the Oct. 4 meeting had been diffused.
Before the public comment period began, Dreyfuss commended the team and the coaching staff on an exceptional season.
“We wish you continued success throughout all of the playoffs,” he said. “We’re 7-0. We have a chance to do something that no other team has done here.”
“This isn’t an inquisition of any football team [or] any coach,” he said. “This is a great opportunity to start a healing process.”
During the brief public comment period, five residents addressed the board, primarily echoing his comments, commending the volunteers that make up the board, and wishing for a quick end to the entire saga.
One resident read a letter from Bill and Peggy Allyn, who were unable to attend the meeting. The letter supported the team, the coaching staff, and Green in particular.
“The story before us is one of the saddest things we’ve witnessed,” the Allyns wrote. “Why is this man being treated this way? What are our young people learning from this?”