Editorial: A need for LeRoy to move forward

Published 11:01 am Saturday, January 26, 2019

The recent troubles experienced in the LeRoy-Ostrander School District has no doubt left a stain on the school as its current administration and school board looks to move forward.

The entirety of the situation, revolving around principal Aaron Hungerholt and teacher Trevor Carrier, was unfortunate to say the least, and while this ordeal begins to draw to a close, it’s important to remember that harm has been caused to both sides of the argument.

While we still don’t know exactly what it was that caused the school board and superintendent at the time Jeff Sampson to strip both men of their coaching duties, it’s clear that the school and the community must find a route moving forward and return to a sense of unity.

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Interim Superintendent Jerry Reshetar alluded to certain unsportsmanlike activities when he said, “Even your students are victims because they will model behaviors of your coaches, and some of the incidences I’ve received … unsportsmanlike conduct of your student athletes from around the league are not very good.”

Clearly, this is a situation that needs to be resolved and it’s something we hope the district can work through.The investigation was handled under the auspices of state guidelines that maintained secrecy throughout, but even in the face of those there were a few things that could have been done differently, in particular the walking of both men out during the school day, in front of students.

The way the public handled the situation should have been done differently, with an effort made to sit down with members of the school and the community to fully explain as much as possible what was going on.

From our vantage point, the whole thing could have been handled better.

Despite which side the people of LeRoy-Ostrander falls on, it’s equally important to remember that aside from those that had their professional lives affected, the students also had their lives affected.

We can’t imagine what it was like to continue playing an innocent game when both of their coaches were facing punitive possibilities.

Or what it was like to see them walked out of the school and all of the unknowns that came along with it.

“I will tell you, I talked to a lot of people inside this district and outside of your district about the status of your community and school,” Reshetar said. “Obviously, as I mentioned before, the climate here is not very good at all.”

And that’s important. For the school – the community – to move past this, they will have to take steps to heal the rift in the school.

Yes, we understand the anger and the frustration, but if this school is ever going to heal, it’s going to be important that both sides find ways to bridge the widening gaps.

We hope this is the end of LeRoy-Ostrander’s trouble and we also hope this serves as a cautionary tale to other school districts that should situations like this ever arise, they should act calmly and rationally.

Scars like this don’t heal overnight.