Rootstown Coach Resigns

serpico

Well-known member
According to the Board profiles:

Steven Vasbinder
Title: Student Achievement Liaison

So, perhaps he is the district " My kid can do no wrong" representative, which would explain his desire to have the kid reinstated.
Not really. Every board has an SAL. It’s basically a slot that needs filled by one of the board members but there aren’t any real duties, unless Rootstown does things differently.
 

CGradADad

Member
Went back and read the board minutes from June when the football coach was hired. I printed pages 11-13 of the meeting and also debated posting them, but do not want to ruin the thread bacuase of a bad attachment. You can read them on the school website.

I will give you the cliffnote version:

New business called
moved to executive session to discuss compensation or employment

returned 7:41pm

vote to approve supplementals for 7 coaches including Spiker
vote is 4-1 with Vasbinder against

move to executive session to consider matters that must be kept confidential

return 8:18pm - long executive session

Hawkins recommends to RESCIND his recommendation on hiring supplementals
vote is 4-1 with Vasbinder against

Then Hawkins recommends hiring the SAME 7 coaches again
vote is 3 yes, Vasbinder a NO and Waesch abstains

The notes in the minutes then reads exactly as I will type it:

The Records Retention Committee met to discuss the removal of public records according to the

stops in mid sentence - very strange and I have no idea what this means

Then back to executive session to discuss matters that must be kept confidential

return at 8:32pm

Adjourned
 

EagleFan

Socially Distant, as always
SO Vasbinder he did not want to hire the coach in the first place? Is there an agenda here not flushed out?
 

CGradADad

Member
Seems to me Vasbinder had a problem with this hire from the beginning. A local reporter should be investigating the connection between Vasbinder and Spiker. And then why does Vasbinder have so much pull over Hawkins that he could force his hand to make and enforce the over rule of the coach.

Based on the facts at this time my opinion from southwest Ohio:

No way does a school levy get passed in November
Hawkins should be fired
Vasbinder should resign
Principal should be reprimanded for not speaking up earlier - maybe a suspension without pay
AD should be reprimanded for not speaking up and LYING to the press - suspension without pay
If the Principal or AD have another incident they would be terminated - kind of a like a final warning or they now have two strikes

This is a complete mess. You would expect a lot of finger pointing, CYOA and throwing under the bus in the next several months.

The outside investigation needs to have full access to everyone, including the board, should not be related to anyone who is employeed by the school and should probably come from a different area. This could get very expensive for this small school district if they do it correctly.

I really liked Mr Birkett, his comments, and his demeanor. He even went by the rules and let his son be suspended for 3 days for BEING bullied. That takes a special kind of person. Saying he is ok with the kid still being on the team is being the bigger person. All things I am not sure I would be able to do.
 
There has been only one comment about the AD and that was from CGradADad. The questions I have pertain to the AD. Why wasn't he involved with this from the beginning? Every issue like this, usually STARTS with the AD. USUALLY, the AD is the one who has the final say on athletic hirings with approval coming from the Super and the BOE. Something stinks here.
 
There has been only one comment about the AD and that was from CGradADad. The questions I have pertain to the AD. Why wasn't he involved with this from the beginning? Every issue like this, usually STARTS with the AD. USUALLY, the AD is the one who has the final say on athletic hirings with approval coming from the Super and the BOE. Something stinks here.
What about the Board Member who is the Pizza Guy, you forgot about his punishment
 

Quest4Gold

Well-known member
But also, I respect the coach for what he has done in this. It is crap that they did this. Forcing him to play the kid is ridiculous
 
If you check Vasbinder is new to the Board. He just took office in January. If you also check he appeared before the board before. He was complaining about a book that a teacher was having students read. This book was about African Americans. The following is from the March 19, 2018 Rootstown Board Meeting before he was on the board.

1313 Exhibit C Steve Vasbinder: Voiced concerns about high school language arts curriculum. Students are listening to the podcast Serial, a black history month lesson included a speech by Malcolm X, and is against reading the novel All American Boys, which is politically biased following a narrative of police brutality inflicted on colored people. Is ok for college but not for 9th grade.
Andrew Hawkins: Will speak with the teacher to learn both sides
James Conley: The teacher is trying to gain students’ attention and engage them. Has observed the teacher who does allow classroom disagreement. The lesson is about persuasive writing and the teacher encourages challenging these ideas. Has personally listened to the podcast. Some writing is slanted but the context of the lesson is to decipher this.
Andrew Hawkins: Should discuss with the teacher first.
Steve Vasbinder: Feels the writing is overwhelmingly in one direction and feels the teacher is pushing the narrative.

Just posted to show more background information about the Board Member
 

Auggie

Well-known member
A couple more things to chew on>

- Coach Spiker was the DC for former Head Coach Keith Boedicker who just resigned after his 2nd tour of duty at Rootstown. (This guy wins but does not stay long at any gig). This was an internal hire so they knew what they were getting when the AD made this choice.

- The Birkett kid was 2nd team all conference as a Sophmore, it's not like some scrub was trying to push buttons during practice.
 
There has been only one comment about the AD and that was from CGradADad. The questions I have pertain to the AD. Why wasn't he involved with this from the beginning? Every issue like this, usually STARTS with the AD. USUALLY, the AD is the one who has the final say on athletic hirings with approval coming from the Super and the BOE. Something stinks here.
I was an AD in a school similar in size to Rootstown, AD only makes recommendations, does not have the final say, in probably 7 recommendations to the BOE, 4 of them were denied & went another direction, sounds like Rootstown BOE (mostly) & Supt have the same lack of integrity I experienced...need more people like Coach Spiker.
 

BlackandGold

#BleedBlack&Gold
If you check Vasbinder is new to the Board. He just took office in January. If you also check he appeared before the board before. He was complaining about a book that a teacher was having students read. This book was about African Americans. The following is from the March 19, 2018 Rootstown Board Meeting before he was on the board.

1313 Exhibit C Steve Vasbinder: Voiced concerns about high school language arts curriculum. Students are listening to the podcast Serial, a black history month lesson included a speech by Malcolm X, and is against reading the novel All American Boys, which is politically biased following a narrative of police brutality inflicted on colored people. Is ok for college but not for 9th grade.
Andrew Hawkins: Will speak with the teacher to learn both sides
James Conley: The teacher is trying to gain students’ attention and engage them. Has observed the teacher who does allow classroom disagreement. The lesson is about persuasive writing and the teacher encourages challenging these ideas. Has personally listened to the podcast. Some writing is slanted but the context of the lesson is to decipher this.
Andrew Hawkins: Should discuss with the teacher first.
Steve Vasbinder: Feels the writing is overwhelmingly in one direction and feels the teacher is pushing the narrative.

Just posted to show more background information about the Board Member
It appears Vasbinder is attempting to push HIS agenda into the schools vs. allowing the staff (paid for by community tax payers) to educate the kids to be successful in modern day America. Such a shame he appears to be holding onto the world he was raised, which no longer exists.
 
Does Vasbinder have any HS aged kids? Any on the team? This is beginning to make more sense as more pieces are uncovered.

It’s like playing Clue!
 

psycho_dad

Well-known member
Evand "Sparky" Birkett, whose sons are on the football team and who were directly affected by the events, said that there were four incidents of racism in two days, including a white player saying to one of his sons, who is Black, "Do you know the definition of the N-word?" and a physical altercation.

Birkett said he was in support of the student staying on the team because "he needs to be under the tutelage of someone like Troy Spiker to give him a correction on his behavioral choices."

Mr. Birkett being a human being, and a pretty good one at that, solved this problem for everyone!

He gave everyone a path to resolving this in a way that is good for everyone. Why did the coach insist on continuing down the more destructive path?
I know he has his principles and that is good, but the Birkett family not only were the much bigger people, but gave everyone a huge get out of jail free pass. Hats off to them at least.
 

tom 48

Well-known member
“I felt in a position of, this person controls my livelihood,” Conley said. “I don’t know how to respond even if I disagree or agree.”

This coward is the one who needs to resign.
 

nupanther

Well-known member
The latest article in the Portager/Medium:
Somebody please tell me
How does a principal feel threatened by a school board member? I dont understand.
It feels that this Vasbinder may be verbally bullying his way through this. It appears he has this agenda (as evidenced by the earlier post where he wanted a certain book out of school) and got himself elected to the board to advance his agenda. Sound like he read the community wrong and thought the masses thought like him
 

nupanther

Well-known member
“I felt in a position of, this person controls my livelihood,” Conley said. “I don’t know how to respond even if I disagree or agree.”

This coward is the one who needs to resign.
Yeah, I don't know where Principal Conley is going with this. His financial livelihood? Physical? Skelton in his closet? No way this guy should be in charge of a high school with that thought process.
 

clarkgriswold

Well-known member
Even if we eliminate trying to attribute this mess to an individual or two, one conclusion that can be easily reached is that this string of events was caused by a profound lack of foresight by everyone involved, not realizing that this could result in a huge controversy down the line. From the time it left the coach's hands to today this has been an unbroken chain of one bad decision after another. Everyone within the system involved in this treated it like it was happening in 1947 and would all just go away in time. In doing so they simply pissed benzene into a growing fire. In the end, they sacrificed the reputation of their community for a single high school athlete.
 

1 time

Active member
There has been only one comment about the AD and that was from CGradADad. The questions I have pertain to the AD. Why wasn't he involved with this from the beginning? Every issue like this, usually STARTS with the AD. USUALLY, the AD is the one who has the final say on athletic hirings with approval coming from the Super and the BOE. Something stinks here.
. This is Not true at some schools. AD should do all the recommendations, but supers or board members sometimes stick their nose in where it doesn’t belong. Welcome to the 21st centrury
 
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