Lake Placid Lake Placid Central School District Superintendent Randy Richards must go, and he must go now, according to hundreds of district residents.
At the School Board’s Feb. 21 meeting, retired Middle/High School Principal Robert Schiller presented Board President Phil Baumbach with a petition signed by almost 600 people who want Richards to resign immediately.
“It is my opinion that if the board does not act and Dr. Richards does not resign upon receiving this petition, that the ramifications would be catastrophic for the school district,” Schiller said during the public comment period.
Schiller and many others have been asking Richards to resign and putting pressure on the School Board to force the issue since December, after it was learned that the superintendent had used inappropriate language when referring to female employees, including the word “bitchy.” Richards apologized for his actions in a districtwide letter in early December, but that hasn’t stopped Schiller and members of the recently formed Community Alliance for Responsible Excellence in Education (CAREE) from their mission to oust Richards from his job.
“The questions remain, the solution seems obvious, yet nothing has been resolved,” Schiller said, reading from a prepared statement. “So tonight we will change the dialogue and the direction of the debate. Tonight the school board must take notice and act. Tonight is the night that this board of education will hear the voice of a collective of the school community. Although each board meeting has had community input, this meeting will raise the bar in dramatic fashion.”
With almost 600 names on the petition, Schiller said that number is significant, as it represents the number of voters who typically pass a school budget. In actuality, 746 people voted on the 2011-12 school budget May 17, 2011. Voters also elected Herbert Stoerr to the board with 501 votes and re-elected Baumbach with 476.