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Boston Valley Elementary parents defend school principal

HAMBURG — Many parents and teachers spoke in support of Boston Valley Elementary Principal James Martinez, during the Sept. 19 special meeting of the Hamburg Central School Board.

According to the school community members, many of whom were wearing “Team Boston Valley” T-shirts, the reason for the outpouring of support was to find out more information about the rumor that disciplinary action could be taken against Martinez at Boston Valley.

Such hearsay included the idea that the school leader could be placed on administrative leave. The board said that no action would be taken regarding Martinez.

The board’s agenda did not include an action item regarding the administrator’s discipline. A public expression session was listed, and second grade teacher Melissa Quinones addressed the board, accompanied by others from the Boston Valley community.

Quinones, whose son attends Boston Valley, described the school as being “under attack” from a blog focused on school issues. She said that the site has discussed issues that extend beyond that of fact or academics and stretch into personal lives, while presenting falsehoods.

“Last night, I had to stand up at an open house in front of my parents and keep it together with a lump in my throat, because I had just heard another rumor that our administrator is going to lose his job, not based on anything that has to do with our students, our staff, our parents, but based on lies and rumors and ridiculous nonsense,” Quinones said. “The building is under a tremendous amount of pressure.”

Another parent, Andrea Thurber, spoke about the admiration that her daughters have for their principal and the sadness they expressed at the thought of Martinez’s not being at the school.

“Both of my girls started to tear up when they thought he might not be here,” Thurber said.

Hamburg Interim Superintendent Richard Jetter said that no action is being taken against Martinez and that the principal is not slated for removal. Jetter added that district officials are conducting fact-finding actions regarding another matter. He said that law enforcement will look into the other item, but that it is not criminal in nature.

Jetter said that the matter had been circulated, through “the rumor mill,” to district officials. The acting superintendent added that the passion felt by Boston Valley teachers and parents was evidenced by their attendance at the meeting.

“It’s always refreshing to see [community members’ coming] to see what’s going on,” Jetter said. The board met in executive session, prior to the public meeting.

The board’s regular meeting will take place at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 8 at the Hamburg Middle School.


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