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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Hamburg earns a mark of F in sex education.

In addition to cutting the Physical Education program in Hamburg, the Board of Education and Mr. Steven Achramovitch have gutted the Health education program.

Recently the New York State Civil Liberties Union (NYSCLU) released a report which was exceptionally critical of the content and methods of teaching sexual education in New York State schools. In a letter to the Editor of the Buffalo News (link in purple), Hamburg Central Schools was called out as being one of the worst in failing to present a thoughtful, inclusive and diverse curriculum in sexual education.

http://www.nyclu.org/oped/op-ed-inaccuracies-gaps-bias-plague-school-programs-here-buffalo-news

Who could blame the health teachers?  

Life Skills is on the chopping block, and the department has lost several fine teachers over the last several years.

Concerned has attached the following link(link in green) which will direct you to a Freedom of Information  (FOIL) request made by the NYSCLU to the Hamburg Central School District.  While Hamburg is cutting programs and teachers, it has certainly found tens of thousands of dollars to dole out to the Harris Beach Law firm.

As you can see by reading the information at the below link, Hamburg utilized Harris Beach attorney Marnie Smith to conference call with the NYSCLU before releasing information, which is clearly open to the public.

Is the Hamburg School district honorably fulfilling its obligation to the community, or are they lining the pockets of lawyers to keep the Hamburg way of doing things on the "DL"?

Judge for yourself.

http://www.nyclu.org/pdfs/sex-ed-hamburg.pdf

65 comments:

Anonymous said...

From the looks of that video of Joan and Steve, they can hit two birds with one stone....PE and Sex Ed. Who knew Joan had it in her.

basic ?,s don't need lawyers said...

We are so far behind the times. The district isn't giving our kids what they need. We caught the Buffalo News article. What the Supt. is doing is having a law firm do his job. His stock blow off " we're looking into it" translated he will call the attorneys to make the decision for him. He is costing us and our kids their teachers, programs and loss of gym. We want more not less in the classroom. We don't need his attorneys and we are beginning to see we cannot afford him. Middle school classes too large, give our kids what they deserve a good education, not cut rate.

Anonymous said...

Give us a Supt. who really cares about education more than himself. " look into that school board"

Middle School Parents

Anonymous said...

Give us a Supt. who really cares about education more than himself. " look into that school board"

Middle School Parents

Anonymous said...

Our entire educational structure is under attact by our administration, starting with the Supt.

Harris Beach$$$$$$$$$ said...

Harris Beach Law firm doesn't work for the school district. Harris Beach works for Steve Achramovitch. Watch how he abuses our tax dollars and his preservation here in Hamburg.

Show and tell

Anonymous said...

What a mess! Middle school class sizes are out of control and I was unable to attend the recent board meeting to hear more about it. Why can't Hamburg get it together like other districts and post some minutes on their page in a timely manner? I'd like to stay informed when I am unable to attend.

Pta mom...in action said...

The high school is a mess. Is anyone aware how much time kids are in study halls???? my kid who is a 12 th grader came home saying his economics teacher is fighting with his business teacher!! the seniors are going to have to do two internships, because the economics teacher added it this year. The teachers shouldn't fight in front of kids. My other kid told me that the Gym teachers are at each other also. What the heck is going on in hamburg??? Please have a public meeting. M. Gallagher is not around, ever.

Anonymous said...

They give studyhalls unique names like internships. In the past only a small portion of students did internships. Departments are trying to add courses so as not to let happen to there departments what happened to the science department. Science cut 5 positions in the past 2 years!!!!!!!!!! If course numbers are low in science then they should be low across the board if enrollment is down. Working in the high school is now a mess, everyone is just keeping quiet. Our end result and opportunities is not what it was when I started 17 years ago. Parents need to realize what is happening to their children's education!

law suits said...

You would think that a pediatrician would see the benefits of physical education. Dr. Calkins, we need our kids to get at least the min. of gym. Gym with a certified physical education teacher. Our kids get hurt in that make shift gym in their classrooms, I will sue your asses off.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Calkins allows him to get away with this shit

Anonymous said...

Why not art, music, english, math, what nex?. Pop a video in and this is called education. This Supt. needs to listen to us parents. We demand the min physical education for our children with a real physical education teacher.

Anonymous said...

Some one save Hamburg School!!!!!
The Middle School is tired of incompetent administrators, and its NOT getting better!! Tenure should not be an option for corrupt politicians!! Kick the fools out!!!
Everything is falling to pieces!!

concerned parents said...

My husband and I are graduates of Hamburg. We started in kindergarden. In the past 4 to 5 years we have noticed a decline in the educational structure, not the teachers, some of the same teachers we had. Some of our friends are teachers in Hamburg. They tell us that the morale in the district is bad. It is easier for them to throw a high grade a students way then give the kids the true grade. They need to keep parents off their backs at all costs. They feel the Supt. will pounce on them for even a minor complaint. School districts around us are doing a better job at education. We have our tax bill and it is not cheap. We ask ourselves why the decline? Why the low spirits? It all starts at the top We need samaller classes,and the min State requirements in all programs and that is physical education. Thank anyone for listening
Concerned parents

MOM & DAD said...

Give us what the NYS ED requires in all subject areas.

Stop cutting corners with our kids education.

We deserve the best for our kids.

Shame on the school board for allowing this.

Shame on our Supt. for being sneaky with his cuts

Anonymous said...

Army, navy and Air Force were in my daughters social studies class recruiting. The school is telling my daughter and the other seniors they should join the military so they can get money for college. This is illegal to have them in the classrooms. What the heck is going on???? The kids filled out information for recruitment. She is taking an economics class not a recruitment class.

Anonymous said...

Lol, Anonymous, armed services in Economics makes a lot of sense! Thank God we have this blog to educate people such as your self.
First of all, I'm in the National Guard and honor the educational system recognizing that we do contribute to the American economy.
Secondly, college tuition is expensive, so why not offer OPTIONS!
Lastly, we don't recruit, we specialize in offerings such as offering our audience additional information. If they would like it, then we gladly honor their request.
I serve because I honor a code that respects America's freedoms but you have truly dishonored me personally by not saying thank you. I serve you with respect. I.pray you serve your country fellow men/women with being better informed. You need to remember that freedoms allow all forms of opportunities and be open to allowing the demonstration of such acts.
Thank you.

Navy 1985 said...

My son came home with the same story about recruiters in his class. I am a school administrator, the commissioners regulations strictly forbids recruiters from going into classrooms during time when instruction should take place. It's ok if they were in the library or someplace else, not during instruction time. I am a former Navy man, and support the troops...but not recruiting in classrooms in school. Where was the principal, he should know about the regulations. Are the teachers aware of state regs???? Why weren't they teaching???? My wife and I plan on going stopping at HHS tomorrow about this. My kid told me the recruiters had the class fill out contact forms. My son is not 18, and I am not happy about this.

God Bless our Militrary said...

Thank you to all our Military Men & Women serving our Great Country. God Bless all of you.

take this to the bank said...

Mike Gallagher moving to the WIlliamsville District as a Principal. Achramovitch has his hand picked new Principal from Kenmore again

Prospect Ave. said...

Why is this administration trying to find loop holes in the education system to give our children less? Why play games with what is in place. This is a sneaky way of short changing my kids. I want a real physical education teacher giving my kids gym instruction, not a video. I too will sue your ass off if you try to give my kid anything less than the basic min.

Angry Dad Prospect Ave.

Proud and grateful said...

Common area for our armed forces to pass out military information. Proud relative of West Point Cadet.

We are proud of all our service members. Need to follow the rules don't blame the military personel who gave presentation administrative error/not military

Anonymous said...

To the so called I'm an administrator and I'm going to stop by the high school and settle this problem....GET A LIFE!!!! There's so much more in the world worth fighting for...genocide, terrorism, world hunger, famine and poverty!!!!
.and your battle is about what??? Oh, that's right, you go fight for your son...cause its against all laws! No law was broken, no arms were twisting and contact forms are voluntary! I'm sure your son by now has been taught to say; "No thank you". ...or are you always going to demean and humiliate him in the public?? ...I can't imagine what kind of angry, frustrated, fear driven, anxiety prone, bullish, egotistical manic-oppressive, ignorant man/father you must be.
My daughter said that it was nothing big and it was nice having a guest speaker! I wonder if you are a bitter, old man with perfection created only in your head of how the world should be!! It would make for a great comic sit-com!! ...what would we name it...hummmm. At least you would get the15 minutes of fame you require, so let's work oa name folks for the title of this man's next comedy. One problem, we can't use the title;
JACKASS, since that's already been used in a movie. I know what your saying, "Darn, that would have been so appropriate".,,
Any suggestions from our readers...???

class action law suit said...

What this school district needs is a CLASS ACTION LAW SUIT, brought about by a number of us parents to force this district to give our kids the min of gym required by NYS
Ed. Stop cutting corners with my kids education.

Anonymous said...

Gallagher leaving? Good resourse says yes to Williamsville as a Principal. Kenmore friend of Steve Achramovitch to be HS Principal. Watch the fall out from Achramovitch.

Mary & Joe said...

Gym is valuable and the law. This Pediatrician should know that our kids are over weight, and spend too much time on their computer games & texting. More not less
thank you all

Anonymous said...

Wake up teachers and fellow parents we are in free fall with this administration. This Supt. is the destruction to a once fine educational system.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info.

Anonymous said...

Where is the humanity with Steve Achramovitch?

Why the power trip with our children's education?

Anonymous said...

Could you imagine what it would be like if parents had to talk to their kids about sex?...and the military....and school? Then imagine that the kids are brought up to be responsible, thoughful, accountable, etc. Wait, wait, wait....never mind, I forgot that is the teachers and administrators job. Thank god for this blog.

Dont do this to my kids. said...

Let me get this right, a teacher brought the military into the classroom when the teacher should have been teaching, to expose the studnets to the military, And told the students that the military is a good way to pay for college, and encouraged the kids to go the military route, Mr. Gallagher cancelled the school newspaper, so the kids have no legitimate voice in the school. WHile all this is going on, my wife tells me that their are high powered security camera getting put up around the school every 15 feet. THe sex education is biased if taught at all, and our kids cant get gym class. Where the hell are my hard earned dollars going??? AND DOES ANYONE SMELL FACISM? DOES ANYONE SEE A PROBLEM???? Heck, I always thought teachers were peace dove liberals, but not in Hamburg...not surprised we joke that the place is run by the local mega church on south park ave...many of the pro-recruit teachers attend that place. WOW. Call the ACLU.

Anonymous said...

CONCERNED HAMBURG, MIKE GALLAGHER CUT PEACE CLUB, AND TWO DAYS LATER RIGHT DOWN THE HALL THE ARMY AIR FORCE AND NAVY WERE IN A CLASS ROOM RECRUTING KIDS ALL DAY LONG. ADD THAT TO YOUR FACISM LIST. GALLAGHER ALSO CUT CREATIVE WRITING, WHERE THE KIDS WRITE POEMS AND PUBLISH.

Dept of Justice coughs up emails said...

CONCERNED

off topic here with this comment, but fact remains that emails exist between Springville Supt. Dr. Paul COnnelly and Hamburg Supt . Steve Achramovitch regarding one of our middle school teachers and activist in education. The email had a threatening tone. My big question is why would the two have any discussions regarding our middle school teacher in the first place. Second, why are they refusing the disclosures if not harmful to our teacher? In Dr. Paul Connelly's own words." it is something so harmful to teachers statewide such as yourself Chris"

THE BIG ?????? WHAT IS SO HARMFUL TO TEACHERS STATE WIDE THAT THE SUPT'S OF SPRINGVILLE AND HAMBURG ARE DISCUSSING. We need to know

Recently the DEPT. OF JUSTICE was forced to turn over emails between the DOJ and media matters.

Now if the DOJ is forced to cough up emails between the two entities, than why not the emails between the two supt.s?
I believe that what would be revealed would be grounds for dismissal of at least Dr. Paul Connelly. and possibly Steve Achramovitch.

Anonymous said...

some national stats on middle school and highschoolers.

middle school 22% engaging in sex with more than one partner

High School 44% engaging in sex
Most ofter unprotected.


Kids also don't consider oral sex sex. Sexually transmitted diseases are spread this way also, herpes and oral cancer to name a few.

Anonymous said...

The chruch you are referring to is on McKinley Pkwy. Gordon Kerr's former place of worship.

Anonymous said...

Creative writing was cut because several full and part time English teachers have been cut over the past three years and creative writing was an elective. Many electives were cut because there are simply not enough teachers to teach them. This is also why we are seeing such large class sizes in subjects across the board: there are not enough teachers left. The teachers that have not been cut are now dealing with a lot more students than before with a larger work load. The superintendent keeps expecting the same results with less and less. It simply does not make sense. Eliminate electives, teachers, clubs and funding. Increase class sizes, standardized tests and an increase in state standards. It is no surprise that our kids are doing poorly and teacher morale is at an all time low. This current system is setting everyone (students, teachers and administrators) up for failure. Hamburg cannot continue on this path and expect student achievement to improve. Impossible.

Anonymous said...

Bleeding liberals, your so angry about what?? Teachers just keep doing the AWESOME job with these kids and good luck with the dumb Ass parents that need a life!!
I'm ashamed of the parents going against this, but good thing can happen, these angry parents can always be put in therapy or meds. God, I wish Dr. calkins was a psychotherapists. These, last couple of angry comments, "blaming church goers and etc" could use a little anger management! Please get out more, take your self to yoga, or may be even church!!,,you could sir or man, may find that childhood wound and heal your pain that every one sees, but you.

Dave said...

Mommy DEAREST was in my son's Government class last week. Then he had ITT School come in and tried to recruit him to a substandard technical school, and then the military. Are any of those teachers teaching, or just bringing in speakers? My oldest son studies economics at Canisius, and there is no way any of this is economics. My son will never be ready for college at this rate. Its a waste of time, and not the role of the school to be jamming this stuff down my kids throat. I am with the dad who is an administtrator, why cant we see what they should be doing in stead of what these teachers want. This is not the same Hamburg High School that my oldest kids went to. One thing is for sure, my taxes keep going up.

Anonymous said...

WHY ARENT THE SENIORS DOING COMMUNITY SERVICE...EVERY OTHER HIGH SCHOOL IN WNY REQUIRES IT AS PART OF THE SENIOR YEAR SOCIAL STUDIES.

Anonymous said...

Are you so extremely dumb or just argumentive??
When I went to school we always had guest speakers now and then...it doesn'tean teachers aren't teaching....Your kidding right, I mean your really not always black and white discerning the issues. You really don't see any of the benefits? Really??? This is my one and only comment....like the others said before me....Get A LiFE!! Grow up already, please spare us your narrow-mindedness!! ...on to what matters...
Teachers, do you have another contract year coming up? I just wondered? I heard from a neighbor that the nd of ed has been told more cuts are coming? Why weren't any administrative positions cut??
We really didn't need an Asst at the Middle School and one at the Union Pleasant!! Right there your saving probably close to $200000!!!

Anonymous said...

Are you so extremely dumb or just argumentive??
When I went to school we always had guest speakers now and then...it doesn't mean teachers aren't teaching!!!!!_....Your kidding right, I mean your really not always black and white discerning the issues. You really don't see any of the benefits? Really??? This is my one and only comment....like the others said before me....Get A LiFE!! Grow up already, please spare us your narrow-mindedness!! ...on to what matters...
Teachers, do you have another contract year coming up? I just wondered? I heard from a neighbor that the nd of ed has been told more cuts are coming? Why weren't any administrative positions cut??
We really didn't need an Asst at the Middle School and one at the Union Pleasant!! Right there your saving probably close to $200000!!!

Dave too said...

Someone can be dumb and argumentative, they are not exclusive of each other. I read many of these comments, and parents have every right to be upset and argumentative, and even dumb if that is what they want. Guess speakers are usually code word for, "I dont wanna teach". Our schools have gone down the shitter, and this is a reflection of the administration and the teachers. Gone are the glory days of HHS when men like Herb Taylor, Doctor Duffner, James Castalone, B. Orr, and Bob Smith and women like Laura Stevenenson, Deb Nailos, and Senora Hall had very high academic expectations for the students. This ilk of teacher is long gone in Hamburg. There are a few who continually challenge the kids, and are respected, but most are a joke. What percentage of Hamburg kids are classified as special education? It seems to me that the biggest number of teachers in the school are special education teachers, that says a lot! Get to work and challenge the kids!!!! If you want to bring in the military to get the kids to sign up, do it after school. There is a problem here, and it is pretty clear otherwise why would it be discussed on this blogpage

Anonymous said...

This is a huge huge problem. As a parent I was given a form to sign to indicate that I definitely did not want my son to be recruited into the milatary while at high school. He was 16 at the time. He was given all of the recruitment materials anyway and a recruiter began to call him nonstop. I followed up with a phone call to the school which made no difference at all. I think possibly the recruiters (and possibly someone in our district?)get paid on a commission basis for the number of people (in this case children) they sign up. In this case you have 16, 17 year olds making a decision that can very quickly get them killed, without their parents' input. They may or may not be able to get college paid for depending entirely upon whether they survive in Afghanastan but needless to say this isn't they way it is presented to the children. This has nothing to do with a teacher deciding to take a period off. This is something that Hamburg Central has been doing for years. Thank you for this opportunity to discuss this problem publically. Parents you need to consider this situation very carefully because your children are too young and impressionable to do so. Hamburg Central School District this is only one more example of your failure to care for precious children, as usual.

Anonymous said...

Dave, Have you heard about what happens to teachers that challenge students? Anything? Have you heard anything about that? Dave?

education on the decline said...

Concerned group,

Not just a failing grade on sex ed and physical education but one preparing our kids for college. 57% of college freshmen are not prepared for college. SAT scores in reading lowest since 1972.

Why? administrators cow towing to some over bearing parents and some kids who have a sense of entitlement. students believe that they deserve an A just for showing up. Falce sense of accomplishment.
The culture of education is on the decline. We have witnessed this here in the past 5 years or so. We need to reverse this trend. Get back to the basics, restore our science program to what it was a few years ago.

EL ED TEACHER said...

Please tell me that Joan Calkins was not invited into a classroom in the HHS!!! Can anyone identify the teacher that invited "Mommie Dearest" into her classroom? Is this teacher on crack? Mommie Dearest has cut the teaching staff in Hamburg, kids are stacked high in study halls. Please someone let us know what crazy nut invited the crazy calkins into their rooms. I teach in an Elementary School..and we are shocked an HTA member would do this? Who was the teacher, anyone know?

alum said...

We as Americans are losing our edge in the world, by not adequately preparing our children with a good education. I agree cut some administrators and give my children more classroom time, and smaller classes. The school dist. is failing my children. Alum

Sunset Dr. said...

Thank you for this blog. It has started many discussions on some great topics. We are more aware and are becoming more involved. I have heard that HS Principal Michael Gallagher is leaving our high school. What is the story here? My two kids have brought this information home.

Anonymous said...

We hear the same rumor of Mike G leaving.

HS Teacher

Wagons circling said...

HEY ERIE ONE BOCES, THE TEACHER YOU GOOGLED WITH HARRIS BEACH LAW FIRM WORKS AT HAMBURG MIDDLE SCHOOL. IF YOU WANT INFO ABOUT THIS TEACHER CALL THEM.....DON'T YOU HAVE BETTER THINGS TO DO MR OGILVE....????

Anonymous said...

Steve doesn't have any friends in kenmore so how could he hire a new principal from there?

Anonymous said...

Cliff, Mary and Nicole were representing Hamburg Teachers Asssoication at the Statler tonight... Can Cliff get a life?

Anonymous said...

Word is the ACLU is looking into the way Hamburg Schools is treating a few of its employees....anyone know anything?

Anonymous said...

It is odd that Cliff was there tonight at the Statler and he also attends board meetings. I remember a few years ago when a hamburg teacher was getting fired and his didnt show his face at either of the TWO meetings. You would think that he would show up for that. What a joke he is, complete piece of garbage.

Anonymous said...

Cliff Huen is the worst Union President Hamburg has ever had. Yes, even worse the current weak president. The current president is weak and confused, but not a malicious monster. Cliff actually schemed with the Administration while teachers were getting railroaded. I will never forget that Cliff and the HTA received the Saturn award in 2003 for working so well with the Administration. Receiving such an award is an indictment against a Union President as no good union president gets along great with the Administration in their district. Perfect example is Phil Rumore. Rumore knows exactly what side he is on and never sides with the administration. Rumore therefore never receives awards for selling out teachers and buddying up with administration. Cliff's only concern was adding more money to the top step (as it favored him) and leaving school at 1:00 every day. When you see Cliff next time, just take a long look at him, you can see the lying coward all over his face.

Clifford said...

Clifford was taken care of by administration, buying him off with stipends. This is a common tactic in education. Administration pays to keep the Union at rest and agreeable to everything they put before them. All the while the rest of us teachers are thrown under the bus. Clifford continued to reap the benefits of a large pay increase in the form of stipends. Cliff also had the privledge of leaving for the day ofter before 1 pm. As long as he played ball with the administrators he was golden. I hear that for the first time he is attending sb meetings. What is up with that? Perhaps brought in by his friend Steve Achramovitch for agitation.
Retiree& former lover of Clifford

Anonymous said...

Watch how our Union handles this latest crap with Steve. Targeting another teacher? Thanks for all the information here.

We stand behind Mr. C said...



Respect our teacher.
I was at open house and what the administration is saying isn't true. My husband and I as well as a few of our friends were there and it is clear that this administration is misrepresenting the facts. We will band together to stop the gestapo tactics of this school district toward my sons teacher. All will come out; use the media and ACLU, oh, by the way we have it on our ipad. We stand behind our sons teacher.

Anonymous said...

How many teachers are guilty of inflating grades for students? (Pacifying the parents) I know the problems parents can and do cause our teachers. The problem, students have not learned anything but to whine to their parents. College admission depts.know the districts with grade inflation. SAT.s and ACT's, extrac-cirrular activies and community service are the best indicators. So parents when you demand a false grade the result you'll get on the college boards, a big shocking disappointment. Blame yourself and the sence of entitlement you have given your children.

disenchanted parents said...

Why all the back door dishonest acts by this administration? Never an honest answer. All double talk. My kid is getting
1 hour of physical education a week. There is no double talk on this, this is a fact.
Our two middle schoolers are in huge classes and two study halls. This is a fact not double talk.

My school taxes have gone up and I wouldn't mind but the quality of our kids education for this should be a lot better. Not the teachers but the decision makers who have taken too much from our kids classrooms. This is not double talk, but fact.

Division st. said...

Laughed ourselves silly. They better not have videos for gym

alum said...

Why does this district think it is being cute, by finding loop holes in the law to give our children less? I don't care what loop holes they find I want our kids to have gym with a certified gym teacher. One who is trained in CPR, first aid and physical education.

Parents and alum

gym said...

You would expect this to take place in the Buffalo schools, but not here. We deserve better for the school taxes we pay. Administrators over compensated for this small district.

My kids are being short changed by the administrative salaries on this blog.
Give the money back to the classroom. Realgymn for my kids

Anonymous said...

Why does Steve Achramovitch pull all this sh**? Why is it necessary for him to stoop so low, play games with the teachers and the education of our kids?

DUH DUMMY said...

Hey Harris Beach, if you are looking for Sally on WKBW....we can send you the video. Just make a posting and its all yours...How much are you charging the district to google a BOE member???? Just wondering.