I would like to voice my concerns and to give my opinion regarding Lake Placid Central School's failed leadership. Dr. Richards has engaged in behavior unbecoming of a school leader, flawed decision making and retribution in the workplace. He has failed to create a respectful work environment, has disregarded student and parental needs and concerns, and his tenure is marked by a lack of long-range planning designed to return the district to a place of excellence in the North Country.
I have listened to statements made by School Board President Phil Baumbach that were designed to appease the community, not to promptly address the issues and solve the problems. Comments from Mr. Baumbach such as, “it was a private conversation,” narrow focus,” “representing a small group of people,” “we are volunteers,” “only Dr. Richards can decide to resign,” and “we will take it under consideration” are a non-response to the 600 people who signed the petition calling for Dr. Richards resignation several weeks ago and simply do not effectively address any of the above concerns.
When the adults in charge bully, how do students learn not to? When the adults in charge use language that is offensive and demeaning, how do students learn not to? When there are no consequences for adults who do these things, how can students be held accountable? When respect is lost for the adults in charge, who listens? When personal communication is non-existent, how can there be productive dialogue?
When teachers and students lose confidence in their school leadership, how does it function well?
When the community's concerns are deemed to be insignificant and unimportant, who supports the schools? When parents are so disheartened by the direction of the district that they choose to send their sons and daughters to private schools, or worse yet, to move out of the district, how do the schools thrive?