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LP School board responds to community petition for Richards resignation

Statement: no influence to force Richards to resign

School board members, Janet Smith, Board President Phil Baumbach and Board Secretary Jill Cardinale Segger listen as Superintendent, Randy Richard’s delivers his superintendent report at March 6 school board meeting.

School board members, Janet Smith, Board President Phil Baumbach and Board Secretary Jill Cardinale Segger listen as Superintendent, Randy Richard’s delivers his superintendent report at March 6 school board meeting. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— “The petition requests that Dr. Richards resign, which is a decision that only he can make,” Baumbach said.

At the board’s Feb. 21 meeting, it was presented with a petition signed by almost 600 people asking for Richards to resign immediately. The petition was circulated in response to comments made by Richards directed to High School Principal Katherine Mulderig and other female faculty members, calling them “bitchy,” in March of last year.

On Feb. 10, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ruled Richards engaged in gender discrimination, retaliation and created a hostile work environment in a complaint made by Mulderig.

Baumbach had said in previous media reports that the school board will stand behind Richards. The board’s decision to stand behind Richards has resulted in negative community opinion. Lake Placid resident Linda Wallace told the board she holds them responsible for Richards negligible actions.

“You either aren’t trying hard enough or you need to step down and let someone else do it,” Wallace said. “I hold all of you fully accountable for not being able to manage Dr. Richards. Perhaps his poor performance, if it had been addressed when it started, we wouldn’t be in such a quagmire that we are in now.”

“We are no longer asking for your resignation, we are demanding your resignation,” Lake Placid resident Holly Caustice said.

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