Norwich school board re-appoints girls varsity basketball coach in close vote

NORWICH – The Norwich City School Board of Education convened at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday night to discuss the appointment of personnel recommendations, and more specifically, the decision to re-appoint high school girls varsity basketball coach, Josh Bennett.

The meeting opened with public comment affording community members an opportunity to speak directly to the board of education.

Five people addressed the board each offering support for Josh Bennett's re-appointment and their opinions on what they believe the board's role should be in the district.

“People are advocating to run to the board of education versus standing up and addressing the issue head on,” said Todd Hansen, parent to two student athletes in the Norwich school district. “Chain of command is vital in every walk of life.

“In the calendar that [the BOE] sent out, you are very specific regarding communications and the route to follow. Any questions about athletics, there is a process: If you have a problem, you talk to the coach. If it isn't resolved, you talk to the athletic director. If it still isn't resolved, you talk to the superintendent. The reason we are here today is that we stepped outside of policy and chain of command.”

Assistant NHS girls varsity basketball coach Dennis Eaton said, “While the total number of people impacted by a coaching appointment pales in comparison to more impactful issues facing this board, frankly, this is my fight, and my daughter's fight."

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