HILLSBOROUGH: Cohen says public should step forward over athletics 

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By Gene Robbins, Managing Editor
School board member Steve Cohen is telling the public to express its dissatisfactions with high school athletics directly to the Board of Education at public meetings.
In a letter published in today’s paper, he says people began coming to him before he was sworn in as a member of the Board of Education in January 2015 to tell him “that our school administration has insufficiently supervised the athletic programs in our upper-level schools.”
He said he hadn’t seen problems directly, but was relying on people who have firsthand knowledge. Mr. Cohen said he has taken many phone calls and letters with complaints.
He said he and others had been trying to move the administration to address it, but some fellow board members have told him it wasn’t the role of the board to run the district, but to work through the administration.
Mr. Cohen said the board’s human resources committee, of which he is a member, has discussed the matter, and the administration is moving to review how coaches are sought, evaluated and hired.
“I want better and it’s not getting better,” he said.
“Unfortunately, this administration has neglected our community of student athletes, their parents and the public at large by accepting mediocrity,” he wrote.
He said he realized privacy issues rule in discussing the matter, adding he believed the public would understand what he was talking about, and thus his frustrations.
“After this letter I’m done talking about it,” he said. “If people want something done, they should show up at meetings.”
He said the school board and administration demands excellence in teaching and should have the same expectations in athletics. But he doesn’t see it, he said.
The answer can only lie with the public coming forward, he said.
“Together we can make a difference and hold the administration accountable and finally pull their heads out of the sand,” he wrote. 