Reorganized School Board Renews LaFramboise’s Contract
by Gus Jarvis
May 23, 2012 | 2387 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
NORWOOD – The newly reorganized Norwood School Board went into Tuesday evening’s regular meeting with two resolutions in hand: One with the language that would renew Tom LaFramboise contract as Norwood’s K-12 principal and one that would not. But after little discussion, the board’s four active members unanimously approved a resolution to renew his contract for the 2012-2013 school year.

“We asked our superintendent [and legal counsel] to prepare two resolutions,” Boardmember Larry Swain said, “One for renewal and one for nonrenewal. A lot of time and effort was put into reviewing both potential resolutions.”

The board then accepted a motion to renew from Boardmember Michelle Barkemeyer, and unanimously approved the contract renewal with little discussion and no public comment.

The language of the approval stipulates that LaFramboise will not be “given the assignment of football coach and weight-room coach or any extra duty assignments,” so that he can devote his time to his position as K-12 principal.

The resolution states that the board, in approving the resolution, remains mindful of “concerns raised by various members of the Norwood community” regarding charges of sexual assault, kidnapping and false imprisonment filed against three Norwood students after an alleged attack on a fellow student, in Denver, last February, regarding a “widespread perception that similar incidents have occurred in the past, without charges being filed against students involved….”

The resolution further states the board’s belief that there is a “perception that ‘hazing’ in various forms has been tolerated,” and that it is “essential that all hazing cease.”

The board directed LaFramboise and Superintendent Dave Crews to develop and implement a plan that addresses community concerns about fairness, differential discipline and the safety of students, and emphasized that it has “no intention or desire” to retaliate against LaFramboise for reporting the incident in Denver or to “scapegoat” him for the non-reporting of past hazing incidents – or for the “initial non-reporting of the incident in Denver, when he was obviously not the only school official who had knowledge of such incidents….”

Finally, the resolution reported that school staff has undergone training in child-abuse reporting with the Seventh Judicial District Attorney’s office and that other school officials will continue to receive such training.

Tuesday’s meeting began with a reorganization of the Board following the resignation of Board President Bobby Harris, which was accepted by the Board at a May 1 special meeting. Boardmembers Clint Colson, Barkemeyer and Calvin Calhoun appointed Swain as board president.

The School District will be advertising for candidates for Swain’s seat on the board over the next 60 days. or @gusgusj
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