Board members, initially pressed by Jane Tolomello, lashed back, accusing the mother of grandstanding in front of WBRE Eyewitness News cameras. Tolomello was passionately inquiring about what plans the school has should an emergency break out at the nearby Transcontinental Pipeline, located a couple thousand feet from the school facilities. "The best plan," said Superintendent Frank Galicki. But board President Dr. Bruce Goeringer alleged Tolomello wasn't so much interested in safety as she was in being a supposed TV star, saying there would be no "grandstanding in this room."
Under the First Amendment, grandstanding is protected speech. Pennsylvania law also protects a citizen's right to address a governing body.
As for the safety evacuation plan, leaders indicated they have one on the books. They mentioned calling a meeting to address the plan.
The school board's criticism didn't end there.
Dozens of field hockey players showed up and alleged their program was last on the district's list. The girls, some through tears, indicated they haven't had a home field in two seasons. Parents also backed-up claims of failed communication with the district about trying to solve the problem. Parent John Morris read a letter alleging Title Nine infractions, the statute which oversees accusations of inequity in boys and girls athletics programs.
Superintendent Frank Galicki said weather and a massive construction project have been key factors in being unable to get the girls' team a field.
In a late-evening phone call to Eyewitness News, Galicki indicated he will be setting up meetings to get to the bottom of the field hockey matter as early as Tuesday morning.