Police are trying to find out who is shooting up heroin in the faculty bathroom of Benjamin Cosor Elementary School. Unfortunately, district union leaders are hampering the investigation by advising teachers not to cooperate and to seek legal representation.
On February 11, a used heroin baggie was discovered by a school staff member in the faculty bathroom at the school in Fallsburg, NY in Sullivan County. As of now, no one has been charged, but six teachers and an aide were identified by surveillance cameras as having used the men’s room.
According to Fallsburg police Chief Simmie Williams, although all of the seven possible suspects initially agreed to submit to a urine test, the faculty members were coached by their union to withdraw their offer and to lawyer-up. “If you got nothing to hide, give me some urine,” Williams argued. The police chief is frustrated by the faculty members’ lack of cooperation: “Let’s clear the teachers’ names who are taking care of these babies for six or seven hours a day.” He added that if they can’t get through the day without “getting a fix then that is a serious problem… a serious problem.”
Of course, parents of the children are upset by the safety hazard caused by the drug use. One parent commented, “I’m just concerned for my son’s safety and all the other kid’s safety… When you send these kids to school you just don’t think that there would be something like that going on.”
Williams added that this is the second disturbing incident in the last couple of months in which heroin and paraphernalia have been found at Benjamin Cosor. An amount of heroin and hypodermic needles were first found in the bathroom in December before the start of Christmas break.
Pat Bertholf, president of the Fallsburg Teachers Association, was sent a message asking for her reaction to the incident, but she has not yet responded. A letter from the Superintendent, Ivan Katz, was placed on the school website. It indicated that the drugs were indeed found and that there was an ongoing investigation. In order not to interrupt the proceedings, the district said that it would be refraining from further comment.
Katz assured all concerned on Monday morning that he was on top of the situation: “I take any allegations of drug use in the school district very, very seriously.” A school board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday night.