At the September 11th, Board of Education meeting allegations were made by a Blind Brook student regarding the exchange of illicit drugs and alcohol within the Blind Brook High School building. Further, the student alleged administrators and teachers were ignoring such misconduct, the Board of Education then initiated an investigation into drug and alcohol activity in Blind Brook. Albany law firm Girvin & Ferlazzo, PC, was hired to conduct the investigation.
At the following board meeting on September 25th, high school principal, Mrs. Patricia Lambert addressed the board regarding the allegations in order to quell the concerns of the community. Lambert pointed out that the allegations had been brought up before, “Rye Brook PD, district administrators, and even our attorneys have attempted to gather specific details about the various illegal activities described. We take these allegations very seriously. Yet, each time, these requests for facts and information were met with silence.” Lambert went on to say, “Making sweeping allegations after the fact only serves to unfairly disparage the reputation of the staff members involved while permitting the behaviors, should they actually exist, to go unchecked.”
Commenting on the investigation as a whole, Superintendent Dr.Jonathan Ross said, “The investigation was conducted by an attorney with experience in conducting school-based investigations, including employee, student, or school culture investigations. The investigator interviewed everyone connected to the allegations who made themselves available.”
On January 22nd, Dr.Ross announced that the investigation had come to a close and that the allegations were found to be false, noting that the investigation specifically focused on teacher misconduct with regards to drugs and alcohol in the school, not the actual existence of such activity among students.
Regarding the false allegations, Ross said, “I must clarify that the “issue” we speak of included allegations of wrongdoing; particularly, that administrators turn a blind eye to drug and alcohol use during the school day, on school campus, or on school-sponsored field trips. Importantly, this was not an investigation as to whether drugs merely exist in the school environment. That issue is something investigated every day, with precautionary measures constantly evolving and being implemented by our staff.”
Dr. Ross also emphasized that he had full confidence in the authenticity and validity of the investigation. Specifically, the following determinations were made from the investigation:
- There is no evidence that alcohol and drugs are “routinely” sold in or at Blind Brook High School;
- There is no evidence that Administrators have been present for conversations where students discuss future drinking and/or have somehow acquiesced in students engaging in underage drinking or illegal drug use;
- There is no evidence that drinking occurs during Model UN conferences;
- There is no evidence that adults in the High School look the other way and do not take a stand against underage drinking or illegal drug use;
- There is no evidence that Administrators have failed to implement discipline or consequences for students who have engaged in illegal drug or alcohol use, sale, or distribution; and
- There is no evidence that Administrators ever engaged in any conduct which could be considered misconduct and warrant discipline.
(Courtesy of Superintendent Ross)