The Roseville School Board met in a closed-door session prior to its regular Tuesday meeting to reportedly receive findings from the district's probe into parent complaints regarding two hockey coaches.
While board members didn't share the gist of that secret session, there were plenty of comments about the issue from the public during the board's open forum.
Before the executive session, School Board Chairwoman Kitty Gogins told Roseville Patch, "The meeting is being closed pursuant to Minnesota Statute 13D.05, Subd 2(b) to consider allegations or charges against an individual subject to School Board authority."
Asked prior to the closed-door session if the meeting was about the hockey probe of two Roseville High School boys hockey coaches, Gogins responded, "I have not and can not confirm or deny which individuals subject to School Board authority will be discussed in the closed session this evening. To do so would be in violation of data privacy law."
However Gogins said she was able to confirm that "complaints exist regarding the head and assistant hockey coaches. The status of the complaints is that an investigation is in progress."
In February, school district authorities confirmed they were investigating parental complaints about two boys varsity hockey coaches at Roseville High School.
"Complaints have been made regarding employees Jeff Pauletti and Carl Hamre," Karen Schaub, school district spokeswoman, told Roseville Patch then. She declined further comment, noting the specifics of the case were confidential under the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act.
Contacted by Roseville Patch in February, Pauletti said the district has advised him not to comment on the investigation. "I wish I could, but I can't," he said
During Tuesday night's regular, open meeting, four citizens spoke about the hockey probe.
Felicia Busch, a parent who pressed for the district probe, alleged the two hockey coaches have, over a period of years, engaged in bullying some players, a violation of school district policy. She also charged the district's investigation into the two coaches' conduct was incomplete because several people were not interviewed that she recommended.
Busch urged the board to terminate the two coaches.
Another parent, Sandra Holm, said she had witnessed trouble with the hockey program this year after attending all of the team's games. She contended that trouble included disunity among parents.
"I listened to coaches new and old scream annoyingly from the bench at players and arguing officiated calls during games," said Holm, the mother of three children, one who graduated from Roseville High School in 2009. "There were inconsistencies in the granting of privileges and punishments, all of which I personally witnessed and heard about while attending games and speaking to players afterwards."
Holm contended there was need for change to improve the high school athletics.
But another parent, Amy Peterson, spoke in favor of the two hockey coaches. "My boys have had a great experience in Roseville hockey," Peterson said. "I am having a hard time of hearing this (the complaints)."
Meanwhile, Mary Reis urged the school district to do something to combat "bully parents." Reis, of St. Paul and who had a nephew who played on the boys' team, said that bully parents, "their negative approach affects students. You need to stand up to parents who bully."
Kirsten Libby, a St. Paul attorney, said her law firm represents a group of parents and community members known as “Parents 4 Responsible Coaching.”
Parents 4 Responsible Coaching "was created in response to the alleged actions of employees of the Roseville Area School District," Libby said in an e-mail. "In November, 2011, an official complaint was made to the school district regarding the bullying committed by the boys hockey coaches."
Libby said her clients are frustrated at how long the district's investigation has taken. She said didn't know when the district would share its findings with her group.
"They may be able to do a closed door meeting at the School Board," Libby said Tuesday night in a brief interview with Patch. "But a district court is always a public forum," she said, alluding that her clients may consider legal action if they don't get the information they want.