Thursday, January 10, 2008

Gretzinger and Farrell Address Public's Concerns of Safety at KHS

The Board of Education met today at George Washington school and discussed the safety at the Kingston High School and took questions from the more than 150 people in attendance.

It really was a very informative meeting and a lot of good points were brought out and the board was very receptive.

I would like to thank Superintendent Jerry Gretzinger, Board President Chris Farrell and the entire school board for having this meeting so promptly and showing great leadership to the community.

Superintendent Gretzinger said he is adding two additional security guards and an additional safety officer to increase security and safety at the Kingston High School.


Anonymous said...

I would like to thank my neighbors and all the other members of the District, as well as myself for paying school taxes and making this meeting possible. I would also hope that Mr. Gretzinger would be donating the 20,000 dollars from his salary to pay for the extra guards from 3:30 till 5:30 PM in order to correct this oversight.

Anonymous said...

I have followed this story - and commented on it (appropriately, I believe) – on the blogs. And my latest questions/comments, based on information published in today’s “Kingston Times,” include:

“Might” the former Kingston High School music teacher that was arrested for possession of child pornography (Todd O’Brien) – and/or others - be linked to this situation (at least some of the youth in the current situation were allegedly dancing in the music room before the alleged assaults took place)?

Do people realize that possession of child pornography implicates that the person was in possession of evidence of some serious crimes – and thus, even if not directly implicated in the abuse of children – the person is somehow linked (perhaps closely; perhaps remotely) to those that are?????????????

To refresh folk’s memories, in early November 2007, former Kingston High School music teacher --- Todd O’Brien --- “admitted to possessing hundreds of images depicting children involved in a variety of sexually explicit acts” (“Child Porn Charge Sticks;” Paul Kirby; “Daily Freeman”; 11/6/2007). O’Brien (this all dates back to at least May 2001) was allowed to enter into a plea agreement – and was potentially facing “a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine” --- with the potentiality of an appeal.

At that point (the November article) a “previous guilty plea entered by O’Brien in Ulster County Court” (in regard to the same allegations) had already been thrown out, because the “court ruled that Kingston detectives, working with the Town of Ulster Police, acted improperly” in seizing the computer on which the pornographic images [some of which were described in said article – and were totally shocking, disgusting and alarming!]

As a result of this second plea agreement, Ulster County Judge J. Michael Bruhn apparently sentenced O’Brien to half a year in jail (not much, eh?) and ten years of probation – with the added factor that O’Brien must “register as a sex offender. The sentence, however, was stayed pending the outcome of [an] appeal.” (emphasis mine).

O’Brien was apparently removed from his position at the High School in January of 2003, after his conviction. Whether O’Brien ever actually served ANY time for his conviction, I do not (someone else might be able to fill in the blanks here) know.

I will leave it at that for now. This is all simply something else (perhaps really important!) to contemplate.

“Might” all of the youth in this scenario have formerly been somebody else’s victims --- simply acting out what they had been taught and/or programmed to do?

I do not know. But I do know that serious adult offenders often get off far to easy, and a lot often goes unsaid… So it would be worth (for those more closely involved) checking out!

Anonymous said...

jeremy!! why can't we do write in votes for your polls? that is very undemocratic!

Anonymous said...

Ever hear the saying
Too little Too late?
Gretzinger and crew are useless!

Anonymous said...

Waa, waa, waa---let's blame everyone but those who participated in the disgusting act. Maybe it's this attitude that everything from Gretzinger's salary to Todd O'Brien's criminal acts that caused this incident which are the real problem here. AS LONG AS THE KIDS AREN"T HELD ACCOUNTABLE THEMSELVES then we're just destined to relive it in the future. Gretzinger's salary is justified given the work he puts out as CEO of King. Cons. School Dist. and Todd O'Brien got what was allowed punishable by law---so before you blame THEM...look at yourself and see how YOU pointing the finger at others feeds into this sick sense of unaccountability w/ our society.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of the trial outcome, 6 boys and 1 girl were left unsupervised in a bathroom for over 30 minutes. Gerry Gretzinger is the head of the Kingston School District, and HE IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ALL THAT OCCURS IN THE SCHOOL. Policy and procedures were lax, and he is ultimately responsible for what happened.

Anonymous said...

To 10;41 pm
Gretzingers salary is questionable.
O'Brien's punishment is questionable.
Your comments are valid,
as are others.
Focusing on the incident
does not justify the other
factors or persons involved.

Anonymous said...

To 10:41 pm...

If you are trying to sound like a Marxist sheep, I believe it should be "baaaa, baaaa, baaaa." Next, perhaps, will come "moo," and so forth.

Yes, first and foremost, those who took place in the crimes need to be held accountable for those crimes --- and apparently decisions around that have been made via the justice system, whether you or I approve or dissapprove of the outcomes.

Those in charge of the school system are also accountable - and there are folks, I am sure, working on that angle, as well.

This does not negate the fact that other things might have played into what happened, including the issue involving Todd O'Brien; issues having to do with the legal system, in general; issues having to do with some or all of the parents; etc.

And although you are apparently a person who chooses not to look any deeper - perhaps there are others, like myself, that do.


Because I believe children are basically, fundamentally good --- and that children and teenagers only engage in serious acting out behaviors when these have been modeled for them or they have been victimized in similar ways (at home; at school; in the streets; at church; via exposure to media images past thier age of development; whatever)in some manner.

That is simply a philisophical point of view. You don't have to agree - and you obviously don't.

But, when you resort to the "waaa waaa waaa" stuff, it is you playing the baby role, not I.

I am playing an advocacy, awareness, educational role (and I do have a BA in psychology, having graduated "with honors") - so might I suggest that after "baaaa" and "mooo," you move on to "chirp, chirp, chirp?"

After all, they say advocates should try to meet (and work with) people "where they are..."

And it appears that advanced lessons should come into play later for you.

Bottom line - if you dish out nastiness, you will get some back.

Got it?

Why don't we all act like the adults I (presume...) we are.

Anonymous said...


GO to Richie Cahill's Blog....
He tells us what it was 'like'
being him in High School!

Guess he was a 'Player' and 'Stud'

Wow Rich we would have never thought!

Anonymous said...

I recall a number of years ago that Jolie Dunham, now a former School Board Member, talked HIGHLY of better security in the schools, especially in the High School.

It would seem that her cries of concern finally happened or at least was caught this time.

Anonymous said...

To 1:05-

It is very convenient to dismiss the superintendent's responsibility in this matter. Peronally, I don't give a damn if you have a PHd in quantum physics--THAT IS IRREVELANT!

The real issue here is responsibility and accountability! Gretzinger and Farrell have consistently shirked responsibility for the sad state of affairs in our school system. Forbes magazine seems to agree.

The bottom line is until you have positive, proactive, and dynamic leadership willing to tackle the tough issues and work for the betterment of our school system, things will only get worse. Our children will suffer (evidenced by the horrible use of the English language on the web logs!) and their safety will be at risk.

I listen and watch Gretzinger and Farrell closely. Their performance has been lackluster and dismal. The 'old guard' and good ol' boys mentality is hurting our children while Gerry pads his bank account.

The parents expect and demnd that the schools keep their children safe while in attendance.

Is this not the ultimate responsibility and authority of the superintendent?



Anonymous said...

You have to be kidding. I am trying to find any possible connection between O'Brien's case and what these kids did. Do you even know if these kids were ever even exposed to O'Brien as a teacher. Wouldn't it be better to check those facts beofre sounding like you know what you are talking about. That seems to be a huge stretch trying to connect this with that and borderline irresponsible. Psychology degree or not, that is utterly ridiculous with nothing else.

Anonymous said...

'tis a good thing, indeed, because i don't really even know what quatum physics (to any degree)is...

i agree with you about the school administators, by the way. we don't have any argument there.

Anonymous said...

7:58--I apologize for having offended you.

Anonymous said...

music room... music teacher... "freaky friday"... (see Cahill's blog). men's bathroom by the music room...

a stretch? maybe. but still worth a looksee... and not an irresponsible looksee at all.

i do not have the wherewithal to check this out further, which is why i posted it so others - those that do have the wherewithal - can, if they so choose.

and i am not saying THAT there IS a connection (which would be irresponsible). i am wondering if there "might" be.

anyhow, i doubt anyone will check into it, so my apologies for even bringing it up.

i'm done with this town and all of its corruption and BS anyhow.

when i moved here i thought i was moving to someplace better than where i came from.

i was wrong.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Bring Back Art Stellar
Gretzinger is a Nazi who doesn't even allow the teachers to attend open public meetings he is afraid they will question him in public

The freeman or Blaber should speak to the teachers who were told they couldn't attend the recent informational meetings or there would be consequences to pay
I heard he has a blackball list of teachers who have spoken out against him He calls himself a church going Man but is nothing more than a liar. He should Pray for forgivness next time he is at church many people will be watching