On behalf of the Saratoga Springs City School District, Superintendent Dr. Michael Patton issued the following statement:
“The Saratoga Springs City School District Board of Education recently received, via a third party, a letter sent by an interest group identifying itself as Safe Athletics For Everyone (“SAFE”). The letter had been sent to various state officials but not to the District. The letter outlines allegations, many of them anonymous, made over the years against coaches of three women’s sports who have served the District’s athletic program. In some cases, the years of the allegations are not specified.
“At the Board of Education meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 24, 2023, the Board will discuss engaging an independent, nationally known law firm to conduct a review of the allegations outlined in this letter as well as any other information relevant to the allegations therein. The law firm selected will have experience in K-12 education, athletics and investigations of this type. It will also have authority to engage with independent subject matter experts to aid in its review. Those experts will be specialists in school athletics with experience conducting peer reviews and establishing professional standards for athletic programs in New York State.
“The purpose of the independent review is to:
1) Examine the complaints contained in the SAFE document which were actually made known to the District and how those complaints were handled. The review will assess whether the district responded appropriately; and
2) Conduct an audit of our current athletic program’s culture. That analysis will focus on the three sports programs mentioned in the interest group’s letter as well as other athletic programs. The goal is to identify any current issues of concern and make recommendations to address them.
“The process outlined above will be thorough and deliberative. It will be given the resources and time required for a first-rate examination. The results and recommendations will be carefully considered by the Board of Education and shared with the community.
“As educators, we are entrusted with the awesome responsibility of educating and attending to the wellbeing of all our students and student-athletes. This is a responsibility we share with their parents and families and with our dedicated teachers, coaches and staff members who give of themselves to help our young people rise to their full potential. It is important to everyone involved in our athletic program that our community has confidence in the program’s integrity and excellence. Allegations such as these deserve to be taken seriously and not allowed to linger unanswered. We believe this comprehensive, independent review will benefit our athletic program, our school district, and our students, and we ask that all involved support this process with their full cooperation.”