BUFFALO, N.Y. - The policy in place for who can coach sports in Buffalo Public Schools has a parent group screaming for change.
"We believe that students in Buffalo Public Schools should have the highest qualified, quality coaches to teach them through high school athletics. We know that currently the situation is that teachers that have seniority get first preference to be coaches for the children as opposed to having a system where the highest qualified coaches will be able to be the coach," said Duncan Kirkwood, external public advocate for the District Parent Coordinating Council (DPCC).
It's an issue that parents have been speaking out about for a few years. A year has been spent putting together a plan for the "best qualified coach for our students, we don't want the best qualified teacher coaching our students, according Sam Radford, president of the DPCC.
He said the new plan stalled and the plan in place remains which he says, "A teacher doesn't have to be certified in a particular sport, just a certified teacher with three years experience and get certified in first aid and if I have the most seniority, I get to come in and bump a coach who is a fully certified coach in that sport," Radford said. "That makes no sense."
The parent group held a press conference outside of All High Stadium Thursday afternoon.
Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore says there is a committee meeting with the district to look at the coaching situation. "We are committed to working with them," and he said he encourages anybody with a concern to reach out to him with suggestions.
Rumore acknowledges that the issue seems to be how a coach is hired in the Buffalo Public Schools.
You have to be certified or in the process of getting certified and you have to go through an interview process. You don't just get the job because you have the seniority."
A joint committee of teachers, administrators and a board member are working on a hiring plan.
An emergency community meeting on Monday. August 13 at 6 p.m. 1423 Fillmore Avenue.