Wednesday, January 28, 2009

School board president says he saw scuffle coming

Reading School Board President John P. Santoro Jr. told a newspaper he wasn't surprised that two of his board members were involved in a physical altercation.

"I've seen this coming," Santoro told the Reading Eagle. "This board is broken."

The incident Santoro was commenting on involved board members Pierre V. Cooper, a Democrat, and Keith Stamm, one of only two Republicans on the nine-member board.

The Eagle reported last week that Cooper became enraged at Stamm during a committee meeting, grabbed Stamm by both arms and threw him to the ground. Stamm told the newspaper that Cooper picked up a chair and was about to hit Stamm with it when others at the meeting restrained Cooper.

Cooper has been cited for harassment by Reading police. Stamm, who was taken to the hospital, is considering legal action. He wants Cooper to pay for his medical treatment and time lost at work, according to news accounts.

At a Monday meeting of the full school board, Cooper apologized for his actions, but did not speak directly to Stamm, according to the newspaper.

Santoro blamed himself for allowing school board meetings to turn confrontational, sometimes involving personal attacks, the newspaper reported.

"I admonished Mr. Cooper, and I admonish all of us," Santoro told the Eagle.

You have to wonder about the example the nine elected school board members are setting in a school district that has been plagued by violence, including several recent stabbings involving students.

Read the full story from Monday's school board meeting at the newspaper's Web site.

Stamm has been blogging for several years about school issues at Keith Stamm, School Director. He has a few short posts about the incident on his blog.

1 comment:

Keith R. Stamm said...

Why didn't Mr. Santoro have security in the room if he saw this coming.