'No one can turn a blind eye anymore.' Ex-Babylon school board president says abuse in district has been going on for years
The former Babylon school board president says she has been getting complaints from students and mothers for decades about alleged abuse within the district.
Linda Scordino was on the school board for the Babylon Union Free School District from 1994 until 2000. She spent three of those years as president and says she has heard accusations about teachers and coaches at the school that were consistently ignored.
Following News 12's recent reporting on the allegations at Babylon schools, Scordino wrote an open letter urging the community to change.
"I think it was an open secret," Scordino says. "But there were very few people who had the guts to fight it. It was part of the culture. It wasn't just one or two teachers. It was almost like a cultural thing."
Scordino, whose late husband, Ralph, was the village's long-time mayor, posted an open letter to the neighborhood on Facebook, detailing the misconduct she claims to have seen.
Dozens of former students spoke at Monday's school board meeting to address their own experiences with abuse by teachers and coaches after 2011 graduate Brittany Rohl first came out to News 12 with her story.
"To hear similarities between my story and someone else's story, it just hit me in the gut," Rohl says.
Rohl has previously claimed she was sexually abused by her former teacher and track coach.
On Tuesday, students walked out of the school building in protest and the district announced five employees were removed from its school buildings.
Rohl says leadership should have removed the employees after the first complaints.
The former school board president agrees that the district needs to deal with these allegations in a different way.
"I think we need to see huge changes, I think it's a long time coming," Scordino says. "No one can turn a blind eye anymore. There are too many stories."
The Suffolk County Police Department is involved and detectives from the Special Victims Unit have been in contact with the school district regarding the allegations from Monday's meeting.
So far, none of the alleged victims have come forward to make a criminal complaint.