SOMA Board of Ed suspends Busichio

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — South Orange-Maplewood School District confirmed Aug. 27 that Columbia High School’s athletic director has been suspended indefinitely with pay. At its Monday, Aug. 20, meeting, the Board of Education voted to suspend five staffers — none of whom were named in the meeting’s agenda. According to the district in its Aug. 27 […]

Fischetti and Becht sue district, BOE

SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The saga of alleged incidents of bullying on the baseball team at Columbia High School continues. Former CHS baseball coach Joe Fischetti and former assistant coach Matt Becht have filed a lawsuit against the school district for violating their civil rights, defamation, malicious prosecution and more, all stemming from […]

Amid bullying scandal, district hires new baseball coach

Boosters president criticizes baseball coach-hiring process

SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education unanimously approved the hiring of James Whalen as the new head baseball coach for Columbia High School during its Nov. 16 meeting, putting an end to months of speculation that coach Joe Fischetti would not be rehired amid allegations he and his coaching […]

Both sides appeal HIB investigation results to the BOE

Parents, players come out in droves to support coaches

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The attorney for two of the Columbia High School baseball coaches accused of bullying and the parent of one of the players they allegedly targeted are both appealing some of the findings from the independent investigation conducted into the coaches’ actions. Steve Farsiou, the lawyer for the head varsity coach, Joe Fischetti, […]

Worries persist that coaches will be let go from CHS

No decision yet, final choice to be made in February

SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — South Orange-Maplewood residents are concerned about the positions of Columbia High School varsity baseball coaches Joseph Fischetti and Matthew Becht, following an email sent by the team’s booster club president to parents of returning players, in which he mentions that Superintendent of Schools John Ramos Sr. may not recommend […]

With HIB report completed, those involved wait for next step

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The independent investigator hired by the South Orange-Maplewood School District to look into allegations of bullying against the Columbia High School baseball coaching staff submitted his final report during an executive session of the Board of Education at its special meeting July 7. District spokeswoman Suzanne Turner confirmed to the News-Record that […]

Results of harassment investigation demanded

Former CHS baseball player claims that he was bullied by his coaches

MAPLEWOOD, NJ — The father of a former Columbia High School baseball player, who has long said his son was repeatedly bullied by his coaches, is now demanding to know why the results of the special Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying investigation into the coaching staff have still not been reported roughly four months after they […]

HIB investigation at CHS is delayed

With initial ‘two- to four-week’ inquiry time passed, Seitz has yet to speak to main players

SOUTH ORANGE / MAPLEWOOD, NJ — A parent of one of the former Columbia High School baseball players who was allegedly bullied by the coaching staff said he has not yet been interviewed by the independent investigator employed by the South Orange-Maplewood School District to look into the matter, although the investigator was hired Feb. […]