Verona Schools to Unveil Chaperone Policy

New district policy to be announced at board of education meeting tonight at high school.

Superintendent Steven Forte is expected to announce a new district-wide school chaperone policy when the Verona Board of Education meets tonight at 8 p.m.

In June, H.B. Whitehorne Middle School principal Yvette McNeal emailed fifth-grade parents about a May incident where a group of fathers supposedly held a party in a cabin during a fifth-grade camping trip at Camp Bernie in which alcohol was served, a violation of both school and camp policy.

Parents were outrages as more details were revealed alleging the fathers were drinking and lighting fires in other cabins during a five-hour party while the 10 boys they were supposed to be watching slept in another cabin.

“These fathers should be banned from future class trips,” Palma Quagliata, a parent of a fifth-grader on the trip said at the time. “A message needs to be sent.”

“I’m appalled,” said Quagliata. “It became very clear these men planned this party.”

According to Quagliata the chaperones involved in the incident brought snacks, firewood and alcohol with them to Camp Bernie, all of which was clearly prohibited. 

After details of the partying came to light, Forte announced new procedures would be put in place to select and approve chaperones.

The parents also started an online petition to permanently ban the fathers from any future chaperoning duties.

Tonight’s meeting will be held in the library of Verona High School, 151 Fairview Ave in Verona.


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