As upset as the 13,401 people who have signed the petition to remove Carl Paladino from the Buffalo School Board may be, the process to do so is not as simple as gathering a list of names.
"Education Law Section 306 stipulates the Commissioner's impartial role in this matter," said State Education Department Spokesperson Emily DeSantis. "Therefore, the Commissioner must follow the procedure required by law for the removal of school board members."
According to the State Education Department, if anyone wants a school board member, such as Paladino, to be removed he or she needs to file an application for removal with Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. After a hearing, Elia could remove Paladino for willful misconduct or neglect of duty.
In order for this process to work, the application for removal must be initiated within 30 days of the decision or action being complained about. This means a complaint against Paladino on his remarks published by Artvoice on December 23 would have to be started by January 22.
If a removal application is filed against Paladino, Elia will determine whether or not to schedule a hearing. If a hearing were to take place, Paladino would have the right to be represented by counsel.
For more information about the removal process and Education Law Section 310, click here.
Board of Regents member Betty Rosa says adults are responsible for the well-being of children, including emotional protection, and the language Paladino used has no place in the community or within schools
"In a time when we should be focused on the issues of respect and unification, I personally find it unacceptable for anyone who touches the lives of our children to speak in this manner," said Rosa. "Words are important - they carry weight and they carry power - and when they are used irresponsibly, it can have disastrous implications...Being an American demands we respect the office of the President. That's what we teach our children in New York State as part of our civic learning, and it's a lesson that Mr. Paladino apparently needs to review."
Paladino apologized for his comments Tuesday. You can read his apology here.
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