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The Andover High School hockey scandal gets more and more insane by the day. Today, out of nowhere, both the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents and the Massachusetts Association of School Committees sent letters to Andover School Committee Chairwoman Susan McReady – a steadfast supporter of corrupt superintendent Shelley Berman – offering their support for her and Shelley.
This is Glenn Koocher:
And he’s the executive director of the Massachusetts Association of School Committees. Here’s the email he sent:
Please forgive the delay and the possible impertinence of my communicating with you on the issues related to the Andover hockey situation. I have been at the NSBA winter advocacy meetings and returned this morning to review some of the e-mails and news reports and saw the report on the situation and responses that have come in. I also saw that a letter written by Superintendent Berman had two years ago, unrelated to the most recent suspension of the hockey coaches, had been reprinted in the newspaper.
This was a painful and emotional reading for me, as I experienced similar situations personally as a student athlete and as a parent of a child who competed in sports. In addition, “I have seen this movie” too many times to allow simply sit by. My comments are directed exclusively to you, but you may share them if you wish. I do not intend to do so but I do not consider my e-mail correspondence as “off the record” to the recipient. I also responding on my own out of a sense of outrage.
Finally, I do not want to interject myself publicly into what should be (and legally must be) a confidential process, so I do not expect that you could even respond to me on this matter, but I feel the need to do so privately.
I am disgusted by several elements of the Andover hockey story and the response of the “jock-ocracy” in response; and I would encourage you to review some of these issues with your school committee.
First, the experience of coaches berating players, holding them in uncomfortable circumstances on the bench or in the cold, or withholding breaks is sadly not unusual. Whether or not the allegations are accurate from whomever the complainants are, we should leave to the investigators to determine. However, once it is concluded, the school committee might be well advised to review how your coaches are evaluated, who conducts the evaluations, and whether more than a won/loss record is the basis for the assessment.
Second, the glorification of the ungovernable ambition of some of our coaches is also a common thread. Many coaches work to help develop successful adults through competitive sports. I cherish my own former high school and college swim teammates even today, and remember fondly the victories and even the defeats. We all grow from this. But for some, it’s about needing to win, satiate egos, and even use kids as their vehicle for self-glorification. In my days as a Cambridge School Committee, I proudly demanded and secured the dismissal of a few coaches who exploited students, humiliated them, or mistreated them. [I particularly remember a situation when the football coach, fighting the reduction of two of his twelve assistant coaches, using a student as a pawn during a public hearing on the budget and explaining how this kid came from a home with no father, a drug addicted mother, and a juvenile record and how it was Mr. _____, the assistant coach who was about to be laid off, who turned him around to keep him out of jail – all the while as the student stood there embarrassed in front of a room full of people. Needless to say, we made the cuts.]
Third, I do hope that you as the school committee chair address the inexcusable and illegal release of a strictly confidential but appropriate letter that the parent (I am going to assume that it was Superintendent Berman writing as a parent and not as superintendent) sent to the high school principal regarding his concerns about the hockey coach. I note that the letter was actually written two years ago and isn’t related to the current situation, except that someone obviously decided to bring it up through an illegal leak. There is absolutely no reason, nor is there any possible excuse, for that parent, the family or the student in particular to suffer the humiliation of exposing themselves to public knowledge of this most sensitive situation, especially when the letter was obviously written as a private citizen to the appropriate administrator over the program. I am personally concerned that someone leaked that letter and since very few people had it, it could only have come from one or two sources. It is a most egregious violation of an attempt of a parent to deal with a student’s situation discreetly. The leaker should be referred for prosecution to the district attorney.
Fourth, and not within your jurisdiction, is the response of the coaches’ association in support of one of their members and in the disrepute that they attempted to bring upon the complainants of the student hockey players to the state child protective agency whomever they are. As a school committee, I would encourage you to bring this to the attention of the MIAA and its Hockey Committee.
I want to commend Andover for its excellence and the school committee itself as an exemplary group of advocates for children and families. I further commend you for dealing with this issue in the appropriate way knowing that the privacy rights of children and families – and even the potentially offending staff – were at stake. I know that you anticipated none of this, nor do you probably want the attention. I also realize that in a public media frenzy, things can get out of control and take on lives of their own.
If we can be of any assistance to you, or provide any statement in support of you and the school district, please feel free to contact me. Otherwise, you won’t hear from me again on this.
How smart does this pretentious douchecanoe think he is? Try to sound more scholarly in an informal email. You can’t. But we’re all wicked impressed about your erudite vocabulary.
First of all, he calls supporters of the coach a “
jock-ocracy.”Because he’s an elitist Cambridge resident who looks down on people who enjoy blue collar, gritty sports like hockey. But in fact this is a “helicopter parent-ocracy.” Not a “jock-ocracy.” When he says that he is mocking concerned parents in Andover who want their kids to have their coach back.
Secondly, this statement right here –
he experience of coaches berating players, holding them in uncomfortable circumstances on the bench or in the cold, or withholding breaks is sadly not unusual –is treating the baseless allegations against the coach as if they are fact.
Thirdly, he basically is suggesting that Coach Kucher is a self serving egomaniac who will do anything to win when he said this –
But for some, it’s about needing to win, satiate egos, and even use kids as their vehicle for self-glorification.
Fourthly, the anecdote of the Cambridge football coach attempting to save an assistant coaching position by bringing a kid from a troubled from a troubled background, whose life was saved by the assistant coach, is one that tugs at the heartstrings. Obviously then this heartless jackwagon acted like the coach was the one victimizing the kid, and proudly bragged about cutting 2 coaching positions that directly impacted children – “
Needless to say, we made the cuts.”What a badass.
Fifthly, he actually has the nerve to not only defend the outrageous, inappropriate 6 page letter that Shelley Berman sent to the principal about Coach Kuchar, he also had the audacity to say this: “
I am going to assume that it was Superintendent Berman writing as a parent and not as superintendent,”and this, “
the letter was obviously written as a private citizen to the appropriate administrator over the program.”
No. Absolutely not. Just a reminder that Shelley Berman said the following things in that letter:
“His coaching style is not aligned with the larger interests of the Andover Public Schools.”
When you mention the “larger interests of the Andover Public Schools” you are not speaking as a parent, you’re speaking as a superintendent.
“It was a game in which I had indicated to Principal Conrad that everyone on the bench needed to play in that game so that everyone felt included.”
Parents don’t tell principals that everyone on the bench “needs” to play in a game, because parents have no authority. Superintendents do. He was speaking as a superintendent. And if that wasn’t clear enough there was this –
“As a father AND A SUPERINTENDENT I can’t let this kind of behavior go unaddressed.”
Couldn’t possibly be any clearer. This arrogant, conceited, lifetime HACK, used a bunch of big words in a vain attempt to prove he’s the smartest guy in the room. But his reading comprehension skills aren’t even good enough to pass the MCAS.
Sixthly, this –
I note that the letter was actually written two years ago and isn’t related to the current situation.
It’s 1,000% related to this situation. It’s the same coach Shelley Berman CLEARLY has an obvious bias towards. It’s also the EXACT SAME BEEF that Shelley Berman had – one kid’s parent is mad that his kid isn’t getting ice time on varsity. Shelley Berman is probably kicking himself for not anonymously calling DCF like this asshat did.
Seventhly, this moron also wants the coach or parent or whoever the hell put this letter out there (which has been out there for years and dozens of people sent us) to be arrested and tried in a court of law!!
I am personally concerned that someone leaked that letter and since very few people had it, it could only have come from one or two sources. It is a most egregious violation of an attempt of a parent to deal with a student’s situation discreetly. The leaker should be referred for prosecution to the district attorney
What the hell is wrong with this nudnik? We’re not gonna address the outrageous things in that letter? We’re not gonna address how the superintendent of schools shit all over a 14 YEAR OLD, and even NAMED HIS FREAKING NAME, in an attempt to get his son ice time over this CHILD? Instead we’re gonna focus on who put the letter out there. A letter that there was ZERO expectations of privacy about, since it was written AS A SUPERINTENDENT and sent to two other administrators. These people LOVE secrecy and hate the fact that we are exposing them like the cockroaches they are.
Then he goes on to blame the hockey coaches association for backing up a great coach, and asks that they be reported as well. In a letter from the SCHOOL COMMITTEES ASSOCIATION, backing up a superintendent. The irony is strong with this one.
Finally this is a joke:
I want to commend Andover for its excellence and the school committee itself as an exemplary group of advocates for children and families.
If they cared about children and families they would let these kids have their coach back and attempt to finish off a normal season. Instead the kids are suffering so that Shelley Berman, who oversaw a school district where a football player DIED in 2008 and the coach was not reprimanded, can get his sick, perverted revenge.
This is Thomas Scott, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Association of School Superintendents:
He also wrote a letter supporting the superintendent and Andover School Committee that is enabling him:
Same bullshit. “
He wrote the letter as a parent.” Wrong. That’s not even remotely believable and everyone who read the letter is insulted that you think we’re that stupid. We’re not stupid. You’re stupid.
And once again, if Shelley didn’t want this letter being made public then he shouldn’t have written it. If he were only a parent it would be one thing. I’d still want those made public because parents like him should be embarrassed and humiliated for their disgusting, enabling behavior. But the fact that he’s in charge of the schools means that nothing he writes to the principal can ever be truly private.
Whatever you do, DO NOT contact this guy and give him a piece of your mind:
That email he wrote should’ve stayed private!! Why should people be accountable for things that they put in writing?