Cooperstown Crier - Your Source for Hometown News - Cooperstown, Baseball Hall of Fame

April 12, 2010

Letters to the Editor: April 8, 2010

I know Tony
I am writing regarding the situation with Tony Pacherille and Wes Lippitt, especially regarding the ``hate crime’’ aspect that has been incorrectly portrayed.
I’ve known Tony since 4th grade, and if there’s anybody who has been racially discriminated against, it’s him. He has been made fun of countless times and had to suffer a barrage of daily insults for years regarding his heritage and background.
For the simple fact that Tony is Italian, a group of people at school have felt the need to make fun of him about it. Tony never gave anyone a reason to be mean to him, yet people constantly are.
I would also like to point out that I’m one hundred percent sure Tony never singled out Wes. It is a simple fact of nature that when one begins to run, the pursuer will chase him. This is the case with Wes. Tony was in such an irrational state of mind that he would have pursued anybody that went in that direction. It just happened to be Wes.
I moved from Cooperstown Central School after my freshmen year, after having attended it for seven years. Bullying will never be reported to the administration, and even if it is, the student will just get verbally abused even more because of the fact that they told.
Tony was bullied for years and knew he had to take it, because if he ever said anything it would only get worse.
This does not excuse what Tony did, but it does provides a much more truthful explanation of what went on for years and why he finally snapped.
I encourage any students at Cooperstown that know Tony was bullied at school to speak to the Pacherille’s lawyer and help bring justice to a sad boy who finally broke.
Kayleen Campbell
Broomfield, Colo.
Parents, teach children tolerance
In response to the presumed hate crime in Cooperstown this past Friday:
In December of 2009, I had to relocate my son from Springfield to my hometown in the Berkshires due to ongoing racial profiling over the past year and a half by area teenagers. He is Latino. His life was threatened on multiple occasions, in and outside of school, our family was threatened as a whole, our home received late night drive-bys, his car exterior was vandalized, and his engine was tampered with and ultimately destroyed.
Why? Skin color. The State Police informed us that they could not begin an investigation if no one was physically injured. Do you need to wait for a serious brain injury before you require a helmet?
How many intersections need to produce ghastly motor vehicle accidents until a traffic light is installed?
Parents need to take preventative measures to help ensure safety within our community. Please talk to your child. Racial slandering is not acceptable. Using the ``N’’ word is not acceptable. Ever.
Teach tolerance and acceptance. My son’s new school and community have little diversity, yet he has absolutely blossomed in an environment that is not racially oppressive. It’s a shame he couldn’t find that acceptance closer to home. Here.
Regardless of whether or not the incident on Friday was indeed a hate crime, this is an issue that is real in our community and cannot be ignored. My heart goes out to all of those affected by the shooting on Friday.
Teach your children well.
Lisa Panzeri
Springfield Center
Thanks for the support
A huge thank you to the nearly 200 plus volunteers who came out to help make this year’s Crayon Carnival such a huge success.
I feel fortunate to live in an areaáwhere everyone is so willing to volunteer their time to make such a huge undertaking possible.
The students of Cooperstown Central School are lucky to have such a strong, supportive community full of dedicated and talented individuals and educators.áIt’s also encouraging to witness students working together for a common goal and having such a good time, as well. I hope everyone had a great time and thank you for your continued support.
Elizabeth Lesko
PTO Crayon Carnival Volunteer
Coordinator Cooperstown
Thanks to NBT Bank A huge thank you from the staff and Board of the Susquehanna SPCA to NBT Bank for their assistance in our Spring Bounty Basket raffle. The branches in Cooperstown, Oneonta, Edmeston, Cherry Valley, and Richfield Springs displayed the baskets for the month of March and the staff at each of the banks sold the raffle tickets. The raffle was a great success we sold over 1000 tickets due in great part to the enthusiasm of the NBT employees. Many thanks to everyone involved and particularly to Chris Amos and Rich McCaffery for conceiving the idea.
Jane Goodwin Duel
Director of Development and Community Relations Susquehanna SPCA
Event is a success
The Cooperstown girls basketball program would like to thank all the individuals and families who participated in our shoot-a-thon.
We raised enough maoney to have two teams play in the Duke tournament through the Oneonta Boys and Girls Club. We will also have the option of entering two teams in the girls summer league at the Clark Sports Center. The top free throw shooters were Holli Erkson, 80 percent, and Sarah Morosco and Katelynn Kiuber each at 72 percent. The top fundraisers were Maggie Hall, Lucy Ford and Sarah Morosco. Thank you all for your participation and support.
Mike Niles
Cooperstown varsity girls basketball coach
School should be held accountable
One event does not define the character of a village. Yet at the same time, we would be remiss to ignore any factor that may have influenced last Friday’s shooting. And since the perpetrator and victim are both high school students, CCS should emerge as a focal point.
The true motivation of the tragic act may never be uncovered. However since the media has indicated a possibility of racial motivation and the School Psychologist recognized a need to open a dialogue regarding `bullying,’ we may be provided a partial blueprint. Additionally, we must consider that a lack of willingness to implement consequences in effect encourages undisciplined behavior.
On the surface, it appears that CCS promotes tolerance. Substantial portions of history classes are devoted to discussing the ills of past racism as well as the torments of the holocaust.
Yet at the same time, mixed messages are delivered through the administration and BOE’s inconsistent enforcement of governing policy.
Moving on to the bullying ... Three years ago, I publicly identified `physical bullying acts’ carried out by two CCS teachers and one administrator. While one of the personnel has completely moved on, the acts continue as our students watch, are victimized, and learn. Our administration and BOE look away.
Lastly, in an effort to create the appearance of a shining school, our faculty and administration strive to manipulate normal academic policy.
Students fail classes and are rewarded with National Honor Society nominations. Others have not attained the ability to verbally communicate at an average level and are then recognized as top ten students. Some lack the skills to spell fifth grade vocabulary yet are identified with a top 25 percent senior class standing.
Essentially, there are no consequences for lack of effort.
In light of this and the fact that school is the most significant public institution connected to most teens, are we foolish enough to think that a sixteen year old would instantaneously rationalize that true consequences exist for anything? This is a sad day for Cooperstown. Families are heartbroken. A community is shaken. Questions remain - A partial blueprint or unrelated considerations?
Hope alone will not bring a brighter future. It is time that the community and legal system hold the BOE, Administration and Faculty accountable.
Eric Rheinhardt