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GLSEN Condemns Suspension of Coaches
Mary Jane Karger
GLSEN Hudson Valley Condemns Decision to Suspend Coaches for Supporting LGBTQ Youth
Hudson Valley, NY (March 12th, 2018) GLSEN Hudson Valley is calling on Section One Athletic Council officials to reverse a decision to suspend two coaches following their participation in a charity basketball game on Jan. 20 that benefitted GLSEN’s efforts in Hudson Valley to make schools safer and more inclusive for LGBTQ students.
Section One Athletic Council, a part of the New York State Public High School Association that has jurisdiction over the lower part of Hudson Valley have suspended the coaches for the first game of the 2018-19 high school basketball season. Saunders High School coach Anthony Nicodemo, who planned the event, and Somers High School coach Chris DiCintio, whose team participated.
Section One leadership argues that Nicodemo’s Athletic Director, Jim Rose, did not submit the proper paperwork required to host the event. Nicodemo claims that Rose received verbal approval from Section One’s Executive Director Jen Simmons prior to the event. However, Simmons has refused to comment on the matter.
“It is outrageous that Section One would suspend coaches Anthony Nicodemo and Chris DiCintio over a clerical error of someone else’s doing. This was a positive sporting event aimed at celebrating diversity, inclusion, and sportsmanship. These are the values we should be encouraging our coaches to be promoting on the court.” said GLSEN Hudson Valley Co-Chair Mary Jane Karger.
“Due to a lack of transparency on Section One’s part, we have no choice but to question the motive for such a harsh punishment. We are left wondering whether homophobia may have played a role in the council’s decision. We call on Section One to 1) explain why the coaches deserve such a severe punishment for supporting LGBTQ youth and 2) to demonstrate how this punishment is in line with punishment for similar clerical errors in the past. Students are watching and learning from the behavior of Section One, and we hope those officials who supported the suspensions will reconsider their decision,” concluded Karger.
GLSEN works to create safe and inclusive schools for all. We envision a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and/or expression. Each year, GLSEN programs and resources reach millions of students and educators in K-12 schools across the United States, and our network of 39 community-led chapters in 26 states brings GLSEN's expertise to local communities. GLSEN's progress and impact have won support for inclusive schools at all levels of education in the United States and sparked an international movement to ensure equality for LGBTQ students and respect for all in schools. For more information on GLSEN's policy advocacy, student leadership initiatives, public education, research, and educator training programs, please visit www.glsen.org.