Celina City Schools board members expressed general embarrassment
regarding the recent assault of a basketball official by a Celina
parent at the Fort Recovery vs. Celina girls basketball game
in Fort Recovery.
“I find this absolutely unacceptable and inexcusable.
A very strong stand needs to be taken ... I favor a lifetime
ban,” board member Matt Gilmore said at Tuesday night’s
board of education meeting.
The concern centers around the physical attack by Celina parent
Randy Canary on referee Paul Armstrong wherein Canary punched
Armstrong twice in the back following the girls game last week.
Canary was arrested at the scene and charged with a first degree
misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to six months in
jail and up to a $1,000 fine.
Celina school officials issued Canary an “indefinite ban”
from all athletic events in which Celina participates no matter
the location or level of play. The discussion among board members
was intended to agree upon what length of time will constitute
Board member Amy Hoyng said consideration should be given to
Canary’s children still attending school.
“It was not their fault at all. I’d like us to act
to make it better for them,” Hoyng said.
Board member Ken Fetters agreed with Gilmore that the incident
is “an embarrassment to the whole school district.”
Fetters requested that Superintendent Fred Wiswell and/or board
President Mary Lehman send a letter of apology to the Fort Recovery
superintendent, which both agreed to do.
Wiswell said that he has received a letter of apology as well
as a message of apology on his voice mail from Canary.
As no limits on the indefinite bans were agreed upon, Canary’s
current ban from Celina athletics remains in place and the matter
Prior to the Canary discussion, levy campaign chairperson Robin
Elston gave a presentation to board members and an audience
of about 30, mostly school staff, entitled “The Rest of
the Story,” explaining in common terms why the district
is back on the ballot with a 7.9-mill operating levy so soon
after two levies passed last May.
Hard copies of her media presentation are available on request
at the district administration office as well as an 11-page
“Celina Schools — Levy FAQs — March 2004.”
The material addresses such questions as how the state changed
its funding procedures and how this has affected Celina schools;
how does (the community) know the district won’t be in
the same situation next year; what are the district’s
sources of revenue and how much comes from each; why a property
tax over an income tax; why only one chance to pass this levy;
and so forth.
The topic of pay to play extracurriculars also is addressed
in the Levy FAQ sheets as follows:
“The board feels strongly that this has not been a proven
and successful option for other school districts,” it
reads. “More importantly, this option is not equitable
for all students. And, finally, the board has stressed and maintained
its stance on the importance of maintaining quality academic
In her presentation Elston emphasized that should the March
levy fail, there will be no sports, extracurriculars, clubs,
organization, etc. for the 2004-05 school year.
“People are asking why not go back to the polls in August
if the levy fails. But that would be a special election and
it’s expensive. Besides, it would be too late to impact
next school year. All the extracurriculars must be in place
by then,” she said.
The board has decided 20 teaching positions would be eliminated
if the levy fails, but specifics on what teachers or what courses
would be affected have yet to be determined.
“A good portion of elective offerings at (the middle and
high school levels) will be eliminated. At least one classroom
from each grade level will be reduced in the K-6 grades,”
the Levy FAQ sheet says. “Class sizes will increase considerably
across the district.”
Elston, a professional consultant who is volunteering her time
to the levy drive, said more than $16,000 has been donated to
the campaign and more than 300 volunteers are participating.
“We have received and appreciate the overwhelming support
from businesses and local government,” she said.