By Kristin Schultz
NISKAYUNA — It was a busy night for the Niskayuna Central School District Board of Education on July 14 as it held both its organizational and regular meeting. The board appointed leaders and vendors for the upcoming school year, approved policies and administered the oath of office to this year’s officers.
Cynthia Gagnon was sworn in as the district clerk and Carrie Nyc-Chevrier as the deputy district clerk. Freshman board member Jennifer Zhao took the oath of office from her new seat at the board table. Returning board member Rosemarie Perez Jaquith and superintendent Cosimo Tangorra Jr. also took the oath of office.
The board nominated and unanimously re-elected Perez Jaquith to be board president and David Koes was chosen vice president.
Codes of conduct
Modifications to both the athletic code of conduct and the high school code of conduct were discussed. The board discussed a portion of the code that imposes more punitive measures for first-time drug and alcohol violations.
Specifically, if a student possesses or consumes drugs or alcohol, he or she receives an immediate 12-month suspension from athletic participation.
If a student-athlete attends a party where there are drugs and alcohol present, even if the athlete does not consume drugs or alcohol, he or she is subject to athletic suspension as determined by the building principal.
In total, the code of of conduct lists 20 behaviors for which student-athletes may be reprimanded. Violations include everything from cutting class to unlawful possession or use of a firearm or weapon to sexting.
First-time offenders can expect to be placed on probation for 12 months. Terms of the probation include suspension for a number of games and counseling as assigned.
Board member Jack Calareso mentioned that drug and alcohol offenses were punished more harshly, then asked if those violations were worse than bringing a gun to school or sexual harassment.
In the end, the board decided to impose harsher penalties for 13 of the code’s list of 20 prohibited behaviors. For items 8 through 20 as listed on pages six and seven of the code, student-athletes in violation will be suspended from athletics for a time to be determined by the building principal.
The list of violations now subject to harsher penalties includes: attending a party where there are drugs and alcohol; possession or use of tobacco or e-cigarettes; fighting; unlawful possession or use of a weapon; sexual harassment or misconduct; community-related offenses; hazing; bullying; sexting; sexual voyeurism; and or committing a misdemeanor or crime.
The board of education approved the amended athletic code of conduct and high school code of conduct unanimously.