Webster parents air several grievances in heated school board meeting | WHEC.com

Webster parents air several grievances in heated school board meeting

Patrick Moussignac
Created: May 06, 2021 11:12 PM

WEBSTER, N.Y. (WHEC) — Webster parents say they are fed up for several reasons.

Exactly one week ago Thursday, Webster’s Superintendent announced his retirement. A former basketball coach filed a federal lawsuit against the district. Parents also want their kids back in class.

Thursday night things almost got out of hand, police had to be called in to calm everyone down.

These parents continue to seek answers as to why neighboring school districts not only had a reopening plan in place, but many of them have already returned to in-person classes.

"If you guys don't like it get out, because you want to know why there's enough people here that will take your jobs, and guess what we'll get our kids back," yelled one WCSD parent.

It was a heated Board of Education meeting at the Webster Central School. Parents yelling at board members said they want straight answers about leadership, and about their children returning to their classrooms full time.

The same parent continued, "An answer, nobody can answer me. As a tax-paying resident of Webster, and not only am I paying the school taxes but now I am paying tuition at a private school so my 9-year-old can be in school five days a week."

Police were called but soon left as the meeting continued.

"We are hurting parents okay," WCSD parent Mark Argo said. "We're hurting parents. We are hurting taxpayers, and I can tell you right now you cannot keep silencing us because this group just keeps growing, and it's not going to stop."

Besides the school's reopening plans, parents say they're also not getting any transparency or accountability.

"You email them repeatedly, email repeatedly," Sarah Dolle said. "They don't respond to you emails. You just don't know what's going on in the district, what the plans are. Everything seems to be behind closed doors. Obviously, there's a huge scandal that's been happening."

That scandal involves former Superintendent of Schools Carmen Gumina who abruptly retired last week after being named in a federal lawsuit. That suit was brought against the District by former Webster Girls Basketball Coach Kali Watkins who was acquitted of rape charges in August 2019. Gumina did not say if his retirement has anything to do with the lawsuit but did say his tank was on empty. Brian Neenan has been named Interim Superintendent.

"Hopefully change will happen with the new Superintendent who seems awesome. Hopefully, we'll have some new leadership, and some better direction," Dolle said.

News10NBC reached out to the Board Members for comments, but our requests were declined. Thursday night, the district released this statement saying: "Tonight's Webster CSD Board of Education meeting was filled with emotion. Our board members and administrators amended this evening's agenda to provide extended time to hear our community's feedback. We look forward to working together on expressed concerns in the future."

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