JULY 21, 2015 – HFM BOCES is cooperating fully with Gloversville Police Department detectives after a woman who previously worked as a substitute aide through the BOCES Substitute Services was arrested Monday, July 20, on charges of inappropriate sexual conduct. The woman was employed as a substitute teacher’s aide at Gloversville Middle school intermittently from 2009-2012 when the incidences involving a student allegedly occurred.
According to HFM BOCES District Superintendent Dr. Patrick Michel, the woman is not presently associated with substitute services and had not worked with the service since 2013.
“By policy, when a person does not take any assignments through us for an entire year, we automatically drop him or her from our list,” Dr. Michel said. “However, I am not pleased by this turn of events. We take the welfare of our students very seriously.”
HFM BOCES and its component school districts have protocols in place to address any complaints about substitutes and to remove them immediately from the classroom and the service. According to Dr. Michel, in this case, there is no record of any complaints during the time of the alleged conduct.
“All our subs – from teachers to aides and clerks – are thoroughly vetted and interviewed by a panel of administrators. However, two episodes in the last few months with people who have put our students at risk are two too many. I am recommending to our board of education that we immediately conduct an audit of our hiring procedures for substitutes,” Dr. Michel said. “We won’t tolerate people in a position of authority taking advantage of our children, and we will do what it takes to eliminate that possibility.”
HFM BOCES provides substitute services, including teachers, aides, nurses, interpreters and clerical help, for 12 of its 15 component school districts. Substitutes must meet minimum standards for employment, including certifications, licensing and civil service standing for some positions. All applicants undergo a thorough background check, including fingerprinting and a multi-step interview process.