Cheers and jeers

CHEERS – To school board candidates. Voters will go to the polls Tuesday throughout the region to vote for candidates for local school boards and decide on school budgets. In some local districts, such as Gloversville, Johnstown and Oppenheim-Ephratah-St. Johnsville, there is a competition for seats. People should remember school board members are volunteers who are taking on a lot of responsibility. They make important decisions that affect the education of children. Board members, at times, also have to deal with criticism from the public. We give these people credit for taking the time to offer their service. We encourage school district residents to do some research on the candidates, budgets and propositions on Tuesday’s ballots and go to the polls. School district elections and budget votes are too important to ignore.

JEERS – To a disappointing cop. Former Johnstown police officer Adam Schwabrow told a judge this week, “I’m disgusted with myself.” He should be, and everyone else should be disgusted with him too. Schwabrow, 32, raped a 16-year-old girl when he was a police officer. A judge sentenced Schwabrow to a year in jail. He’s already been serving his time, so he could get out of jail before the holidays. We hope he receives no special treatment. Police officers, who hold positions of authority over citizens, should be held to a high standard. Schwabrow not only broke the law, but violated a minor, even though authorities say the sex was consensual. He also violated the trust of the community, as the prosecutor in the case pointed out.

CHEERS – To cheerleading. The New York State Board of Regents recently designated competitive cheerleading as an interscholastic sport. This is a good decision for several reasons, especially safety. The popularity of cheerleading has grown in recent years, and so has the number of cheerleaders getting injured. Cheerleading – which sometimes includes stunts such as the tossing and flipping of bodies, and making human pyramids – has become more complex and dangerous. The new designation will put safety rules into place and require better supervision. Coaches will be required to have a certain level of training, and other rules may require physical exams for cheerleaders before they join squads and conditioning exercises before for competitions. The designation, which won’t affect traditional sideline cheerleading squads that do no stunts, should result in the creation of consistent standards for participation in competitive cheerleading. We suspect another result of the decision will be more and better opportunities for girls and boys in the sport.