Wednesday, February 25, 2015


Concerns over alleged improper treatment of some players on the Columbia High School baseball team took center stage at Monday night's school board meeting as several parents and players claimed harassment, bullying and name-calling by coaches Joe Fischetti and Matthew Becht.

The claims prompted Acting Superintendent James Memoli to make sure athletic coaches and other staffers in extra-curricular events be properly advised of anti-bullying policies.

"I've instructed our in-house counsel who serves in the role of anti-bullying coordinator to dedicate all of the resources of his office to ensure that all of our athletic and extra curricular staff continue to receive training and support to comply with all relevant laws," Memoli said.

His comments followed public testimony from several residents who claimed that under Fischetti, players had been mistreated, called names and bullied. They had complained as far back as last fall, but an internal investigation found no proof of improper behavior. Some parents, however said it did not go far enough.

Below are comments from two parents who spoke out.

Also showing concern was senior CHS student Malcolm Stern, who said he was berated and called "a pussy" by one of the coaches.

"I really wish you guys would look into investigating," Stern told the board. "It's not fun playing baseball here."

Later in the evening, Fischetti address the board, stating, "In 16 years in this community I've never been accused of any of the things that were said about me tonight by some people. If there was a history of some of the things I have been accused of I would think they would have showed up before tonight."

Also in attendance were numerous parents and former players who praised Becht and Fischetti. Their views are below:

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