Times are tough, America, but you can take solace that your children are not enrolled in the hellhole that must be Benjamin Cosor Elementary School, where no fewer than six teachers have hired attorneys and refused to cooperate in a police investigation surrounding the discovery — twice in three months — of heroin and drug paraphernalia in a faculty bathroom.
The story is unfolding in rural Fallsburg, N.Y., reports The Record of Middletown.
On Feb. 11, an unidentified staffer discovered a heroin baggie in a men’s faculty bathroom. Before that, on Dec. 23, someone found heroin and a bunch of heroin needles in the very same bathroom.
Investigators subsequently used camera footage to identify half a dozen teachers as well as a teacher’s aide as suspects possibly responsible for the baggie. All seven staffers also agreed to provide urine samples. Everything was going splendidly.
Then, the school district’s teachers union got involved. The union advised the six elementary school teachers and the teacher’s aide to hire attorneys, which they did. All the suspects also immediately stopped cooperating with police investigators.
Simmie Williams, the police chief in Fallsburg, is not amused by the union’s tactics.
“If you got nothing to hide, give me some urine,” Williams told The Record. “Let’s clear the teachers’ names who are taking care of these babies for six or seven hours a day.”
Teachers have complained that investigators have visited Cosor Elementary during school hours, with kids around. Teachers are particularly bothered that students have seen police attempt to interview faculty members.
Local attorney Jared Hart spoke about his unidentified client’s frustration.
“He’s embarrassed, and he’s also angry that he has to defend himself,” Hart told the local paper. “He doesn’t feel that he has to be defending himself against something he’s not involved in.”
Jim Farrell, the Sullivan County district attorney, is also part of the investigation. He noted that he’s never had to deal with heroin in the area’s bucolic public schools until now.
“We intend to get to the bottom of this because, at this point, we feel there’s a potential danger to the students in that school,” Farrell told The Record.
However, the local teachers union isn’t budging. In a statement obtained by News 12 Westchester, a union representative said:
We support the removal of any person from the classroom posing a threat to the children in our charge. Our locals, however, also stand united in ensuring our members are treated fairly and that their due-process rights are protected.
Meanwhile, last night’s Fallsburg school district meeting was moved to the local high school auditorium in anticipation of a crowd of angry local parents.
Also, incidentally, video footage identified an eighth suspect: a contract employee who was at the elementary school to provide occupational therapy. That contract employee has already provided a urine sample. The results of that sample are unknown.