Students, parents defend Saratoga Springs school athletic program

Saratoga Springs to hire firm to investigate athletics claims

Saratoga Springs to hire firm to investigate claims of abusive culture in athletics.

Parents and students came out on Tuesday to express their support for the Saratoga Springs City School District’s athletic program in the wake of allegations of a toxic and abusive culture in sports.

However, there wasn’t a single word spoken in opposition to the coaches as the Board of Education voted to hire an outside law firm to investigate the decades-old accusations that athletes were bullied and forced to play through injuries.  Many of the allegations were directed at the district’s running program.

“Everything this program does for us is from a place of care,” said Emily Bush, a cross country runner. “We are treated like family and they would move mountains for us.”

Steph McGuire, a parent of an cross country runner, also praised the program.

“Our coaches dedicated their lives to this team year after year. They provided us incredible opportunities,” she said.  

Superintendent of Schools Michael Patton said previous administrations have already addressed the allegations, but because they are so serious they deserve to be taken seriously.

“Any time you consult for outside work, it’s going to be a cost to the taxpayers of the district,” he said. “But again, the Board of Education and myself, we’re committed to making sure we’re investigating these claims and we can put some of these allegations to rest.”