To the members of the Board of Education and Berlin Town Council -
This letter is intended to formally announce that the individuals who coach within the Berlin school system have organized themselves and developed the Berlin Interscholastic Coaches Association or BICA. We are an association, comprised of 75 coaches at the high school and middle school levels, organized as a means of having a unified voice to represent coaches' concerns and to support each other in times of need. A seven-member council, who will act as the voice of the association, represents the coaching collective.
We feel it is important to give a brief rationale for why we have chosen to take the step of forming an association. There is a protocol that has been in place concerning the lines of communication between parents, athletes and coaches. This protocol has, overall, been adhered to by all parties and has been very successful. Unfortunately, many times over the past several years, a common theme has presented itself, a theme that has made the already difficult task of coaching interscholastic athletics even more challenging. The theme to which we are referring is the consistent and constant abuse of power that has occurred by the President of the Board of Education. Unfortunately, the President has, on far too many occasions, used his position to harass, bully and-intimidate coaches, side-stepping the protocols when it suits him. This unfortunate harassment has led to the entire Athletic Department running under pressures that counter a healthy instructional and educational atmosphere.
To that end, we are aware of a letter that was written by a group of athletes to the President of the Board of Education passionately describing the feelings they share on the unfortunate effects of this abuse of power. We would like to take a moment to formally support these athletes and commend them on their bravery in taking the daunting but necessary step of presenting their concerns to the source of the problem in the hopes that others would protect them. We understand that the letter may lack specifics in terms of the many incidents that have occurred over the years. We feel it is appropriate to offer the members of the Board of Education and the Town Council the opportunity to contact us if they, at any time, require any specifics in order to satisfy any concerns on this topic.
Our current intent is to keep all of these issues 'in house' out of concern for the athletes, coaches, administrators, and the overall black eye that this town would receive should many of these concerns be brought to the general public. Our desire is that everyone, regardless of position, adhere to the chain of command as constituted in the Athletic Handbook, and that an investigation into the events surrounding the abuse of power that has consistently occurred over a period of years take place and that the appropriate actions be taken. To this end, we have actively searched for the Board of Education Code of Ethics, but as of this time we have been unable to procure a copy despite looking in several places for it.
Thank you for your time and we look forward to being a part of the solution in this current situation and to working in the future to ensure that Berlin maintains its reputation as a place where people love to live, work and coach.