Sept. 29, 2017
Statement from Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra, Jr.
In light of the events at Thursday evening’s football game and some
of the commentary that followed, Niskayuna Superintendent Cosimo Tangorra,
Jr., is issuing the following statement in support of all Niskayuna
The longstanding values of the Niskayuna Central School District
include civility, respect, community, open dialogue and, above all,
supporting our students and their education. At Thursday evening’s football
game, some of our student-athletes chose to kneel during the National Anthem
as the rest of the football team locked arms. As a school community, we
support all of our students and their right to express themselves in a
peaceful and civil manner. We respect that there are diverse perspectives in
our nation, community, and student body on the issues that have been debated
across the country in recent days. It must be clear to all that the students
who chose to kneel broke no school rule and will not be penalized in any
way. Further, we reject intolerance and incivility in all instances – and
even more so when it is directed toward our students, as has happened in the
hours after the game. We cannot control the content or tone of the national
conversation, but how that takes place in Niskayuna is up to all of us.
As an educational institution, it is our responsibility to provide a venue
for students to learn about, debate, and understand current events. We are
proud of them when they express their views in a peaceful manner. High
School Principal John Rickert and Football Coach Brian Grastorf talked to
the team in the days leading up to the game and encouraged them to think
through their beliefs before acting one way or another. Mr. Rickert and Mr.
Grastorf have our support for how they handled this situation. The unity the
team displayed on Thursday evening serves as an example for us all.
Niskayuna students demonstrate compassion, civic responsibility and respect
daily. We will continue to encourage a thoughtful exchange of diverse
viewpoints in our school community.