New Rochelle Principal Secretly Allowed Armed Volunteer Parent To Provide School Security

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UPDATE: Lambert Responds
Lambert Doubles Down on Robo-Call to Parents

NEW ROCHELLE, NY -- For the past two weeks, a New Rochelle school principal allowed a volunteer parent, armed with a handgun, to augment existing school security in the wake of the Newtown Tragedy. The parent, a man who works for a law enforcement agency outside of New Rochelle and spoke with Talk of the Sound, stood post near the security desk, walked the halls and entered classrooms. In at least one instance, the man offered "security training" to a group of students in a second grade classroom.

Parents, staff and students were not informed as to who the parent was, what they were doing there or that the person was armed. Some law enforcement agencies require officers to carry their firearms at all times. This particular parent works for such an agency.

The issue was raised obliquely at a recent school board meeting. On January 8th, a speaker during the public comment period asked whether the board had approved armed guards at any of the district's schools. Board members and administrators appeared perplexed by the question and did not provide a definitive answer but did commit to providing a written response after the meeting. No such written response has been forthcoming.

Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak and New Rochelle Board of Education President Chrisanne Petrone did not respond to an email from Talk of the Sound seeking comment sent earlier today.

Asked whether the New Rochelle Board of Education had advised local police of an armed security presence in New Rochelle schools, New Rochelle Police Detective Captain Joseph Schaller said that he was not aware of any such request.

Lambert did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

Talk of the Sound spoke with the volunteer parent who stated that he approached Barnard Elementary School Principal Patricia Lambert after the Newtown shooting. He says he volunteered because his daughter attends the school and he wanted to help make the school safe. He says that Lambert approved his request to provide armed security on a volunteer basis. Other sources have confirmed this account.

The parent appeared at the school numerous times over the past two weeks. Upon learning this story was set to run, he stated he would not be going back to the school to volunteer to work security. He expressed concerns their may be repercussions if his agency learns of his actions at the school.

At least two laws may have been violated.

The New York Project SAVE Law requires background checks for volunteers who work directly with children. At this point it is not clear whether this type of volunteer work required a background check -- and school officials refuse to comment -- but based on past cases, it appears likely a background check was required and unlikely a background could have been completed in the weeks since the Newtown shooting.

It is a misdemeanor under New York Penal Law to carry a firearm on school grounds without written authorization.

Unauthorized possession of a rifle, shotgun or handgun on school grounds is a crime.

S 265.01 Criminal possession of a weapon in the fourth degree.

…He or she knowingly has in his or her possession a rifle, shotgun or firearm in or upon a building or grounds, used for educational purposes, of any school, college or university, except the forestry lands, wherever located, owned and maintained by the State University of New York college of environmental science and forestry, or upon a school bus as defined in section one hundred forty-two of the vehicle and traffic law, without the written authorization of such educational institution.

Lambert's decision to allow an armed person into her building raises a number of questions:

1. Did this person have written authorization from the New Rochelle Board of Education to carry a firearm on school grounds?

2. Did the New Rochelle Board of Education authorize this person to provide security training or stand post or otherwise volunteer?

3. Did this person submit to fingerprinting and a background check before being permitted to provide classroom instruction or interact with students?

In addition to the issue at Barnard, another parent volunteer at another school also works for a law enforcement agency that requires its officers to carry their firearm at all times. This parent of a Davis Elementary School parent has openly discussed doing security checks at Davis, presumably armed.

This raises questions about district policy regarding parents or visitors who work in law enforcement and are required to carry their firearms at all times when they enter a school.

School officials have yet to respond to these and other questions.

This is not the first time that Patricia Lambert has had problems at Barnard. In 2010, she waited hours to report an intruder in her building and then lied about the incident to parents. Lambert told parents in a letter and robo-call that the school was put on lockdown immediately when a man was seen outside the building near Amy' Greenhouse. In fact, Lambert ignored repeated reports of an intruder over the course of the day. The man was later found hiding inside a closet in a second-floor classroom by a Teaching Assistant. When she reported a man had run out of a closet into the hallway, Lambert still refused to call police for an additional 45 minutes. The school was not put on lockdown that day; police did a sweep through the classrooms while the students were still in class.

There have been many other problems as well -- the security desk is often unattended when the regular school security guard is at lunch or otherwise unavailable, the buzzer/camera system does not work properly so the door is often left open and unattended, staff routinely fail to wear the security IDs on lanyards and much more.

UPDATE:Barnard Principal Patricia Lambert responded to an email from a parent early this morning.

The truth is that a parent who is a police officer volunteered to assist us at the door on his day off. He has been here a few times simply helping with sign in at the door and checking to make sure our doors are locked securely.

Lambert has a history of providing false and misleading information to parents, especially regarding school security. Despite her denials to parents, our story is accurate, based on multiple sources in the building as well as two interviews with the parent/volunteer yesterday in which he was provided a summary of the story we intended to run. The parent/volunteer acknowledged the account described in this article, that he had approached Lambert and that she accepted his offer to provide armed security at the school on days when he was available. The parent volunteer was at the school 1-2 days each week since the week after Newtown and had planned to be at the school this Monday.

There were numerous complaints by staff that an unknown and unidentified person was walking the hallways, standing at the front door and, in at least one instance, entering classrooms. District policy requires that employees wear their ID badges on lanyards and that parents and guests wear ID stickers or be escorted through the building. The parent/volunteer in the case did not display any sort of ID nor was there communication with school staff as to who this person was or what they were doing at the school.

Some staff confronted the parent/volunteer. Other complaints were made. These complaints made their way to School Security Director Bruce Daniele last week. Daniele went to the school last Friday to investigate the complaints. He met with Principal Lambert and, according to one source, disavowed any knowledge of the parent/volunteer or what they were doing in the school. Her story has since changed.

Lambert has denied that the parent/volunteer entered any classrooms. In fact, the parent/volunteer entered the second grade classroom of teacher Koren (Qualey) Mahoney. In the classroom, the parent/volunteer offers safety training to the students. The parent/volunteer has a child in the school, in Pre-K, and so would have likely been in his own child's classroom as well although there is no information to this effect at this time.

Lambert states that parent/volunteer is a police officer but does not address his being armed. In a related matter, NYPD Police Officer Chris Danielo, a Davis Parent and newly-minted member of the school safety team, admitted to a group of parents to being armed while performing security checks at Davis Elementary School. NYPD police officers typically carry their firearms at all times and are legally permitted to enter schools and most any other building in the United States with a firearm.

On its face, Lambert's explanation to parents is nonsensical. Why would the security guard need "help" with sign in at the door or checking doors? How many people does it take to check a door? If the security guard at Barnard is incapable of managing sign in at the front door and requires "help" from an off-duty police officer what is happening on the days when this parent/volunteer is unavailable? And is Lambert saying that the security guard, a man who has worked at the school for many years, is somehow not capable of managing sign in on his own? If this was all on the up-and-up then why did Lambert initially disavow any knowledge of the parent/volunteer? Why did she not inform staff, the School Security Director, New Rochelle police, the Superintendent or Board Members? Why did she not respond to requests for comment. Why have school officials refused to reply for requests for information? If there is nothing to hide then why are they hiding?

EDITOR'S NOTE: Talk of the Sound has spoken with the parent/volunteer and, obviously, we know his name. The parent/volunteer expressed concerns about repercussions should his agency learn that he was working security at the school without authorization from his commander. Talk of the Sound agreed to withhold his name under two conditions: (1) he would answer questions and confirm his approach to Lambert and her acceptance of his offer to provide armed security at the school on his day's off; (2) that district officials did not respond to this story with lies in an attempt to cover up the incident. It appears, based on Lambert's email and the refusal of school officials to provide an on-the-record statement, that this story is now moving past that point.

UPDATE 2:

Barnard Principal Patricia Lambert has doubled-down on her false statement to parents in phone calls and emails by sending out a robo-call message to parents calling this article "thoughtless and irresponsible" and asserting that the "allegations" are "entirely inaccurate".

Good evening Barnard parents. This is Patricia Lambert, Principal, with an important message.

The allegations contained in a recent blog posting about our school are entirely inaccurate.

A community minded and thoughtful Pre-K parent who works in law enforcement volunteered to help out in the school following the tragedy in Newtown. His work within the school was limited to monitoring the front door with the security guard, making sure doors were locked securely and helping out his daughter's classroom teacher like many parent volunteers do on a regular basis.

Based on direct conversation with the parent in question we can state with certainty that at no point during his time at Barnard school did he ever have a weapon on his person nor did he visit classrooms to discuss school safety. To claim otherwise is completely false

It is thoughtless and irresponsible reporting like this that deflates our school sense of community, support and positive energy.

Barnard continues to be a warm, inviting and safe school.

Talk of the Sound continues to stand by our story.

Principal Patricia Lambert is not being truthful with parents and the public. It had been our hope to leave the identity of the parent/volunteer out of the story for reasons that will become clear but as Lambert is invoking that parent in her message to parents we no longer have any choice.

The parent/volunteer is Herbert Monterossa (sp.). He works at the New York Police Department 40th Precinct in the South Bronx (Port Morris/Mott Haven/Melrose)

Before the story ran, Talk of the Sound made several calls to Monterossa on his personal line and to the 40th Precinct. We were unable to leave messages on his personal line because the voice mailbox was full. After one such call at 8:58 a.m. a return call was made by Monterossa at 9:02 a.m. That call lasted 12 minutes. Monterossa was initially combative and hostile and more so upon being informed that the call was for a story on New Rochelle school security for Talk of the Sound. He said "I don't know you" and threatened to hang up the phone several times but remained on the line. Informed that Talk of the Sound would be running a story that he had been providing armed security at the Barnard School since the Christmas Break, Monterossa changed his tone. He became plaintive, begging that Talk of the Sound not run the story. Monterossa stated he was on probationary status with NYPD and that he would be suspended or fired if the story came out. Monterossa invoked his child, stating that he had to provide for his family and repeated several times that he was going to be fired if the story came out.

After several minutes of this sort of pleading, Talk of the Sound agreed to leave his name out of the initial report on two conditions: that he answer questions about how he came to be working school security at Barnard and that the district not that respond with false or misleading statements. Monterossa agreed to those terms and proceeded to tell his story. He confirmed that he approached Lambert, identified himself as a police officer and offered to provide an armed presence at the school on a volunteer basis when his work schedule allowed. Monterossa stated that Lambert accepted his offer and he began to stand post and patrol the school soon after. Asked about entering classrooms and providing safety instruction to students, Monterossa again began pleading that Talk of the Sound not run the story, that even with his name left out there was going to be an investigation and he was going to be fired. He obsessed on that point. He then asked if he could call Lambert and talk to her before we ran the story. He ended the call and then called back at 9:23 a.m. That call last 3 minutes. In the second call, Monterossa's demeanor was different. He was no longer defensively answering questions. He became aggressive, demanding to know how this reporter became aware of the story, who had provided information and how his phone number and obtained. This sort of response is typical of how the school district responds when confronted with information they do not want made public. His changed demeanor suggested that Monterossa had spoken to Lambert or someone similar and received guidance to stop talking and gather as much information about this reporter's sources as possible. When it became clear that Monterossa was no longer cooperating, this reporter terminated the call.

Emails and phone calls were then made to school officials seeking comment. A message left for Principal Lambert with office staff at Barnard at 10:01 a.m. was not returned. The person picking up the phone stated that Lambert was out of the building all day.

An email was then sent Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak, Board President Chrisanne Petrone, Board Vice President Deirdre Polow, Assistant Superintendent Jeffrey Korostoff and communications consultant Paul Costiglio seeking comment.

From: Robert Cox
Subject: Re: Authorization to Carry Firearm in New Rochelle Schools?
Date: 1/15/2013 10:06 AM EST
To: Richard Organisciak , Deirdre Polow , Chrisanne Petrone , Jeffrey Korostoff
Cc: Paul Costiglio

Dear Superintendent Organisciak,

The school board was asked on January 8th at their recent meeting whether the district had authorized any persons to carry a firearm in any New Rochelle school. There was some mumbling and head-shaking but no definitive answer. I am seeking a definite answer now.

I am running a story today and would like comment on the situation at Barnard School. My deadline is noon today.

My story will say that Principal Patricia Lambert accepted an offer from a parent volunteer to stand post and otherwise "work" security at the school. That this person is a sworn police officer and was carrying a gun while volunteering at the school. Further, that this individual entered classrooms and provided "security training" to children at the school.

1. Did this person have written authorization from the New Rochelle Board of Education to carry a firearm on school grounds? Provide security training or stand post or otherwise volunteer?

2. Did this person submit to fingerprinting and a background check before being permitted to interact with students, provide classroom instruction?

3. Was the NRPD notified that an armed person was "working security" at Barnard?

4. What is the district policy regarding parents or visitors who work in law enforcement and are required to carry their firearms at all times when they enter a school. You have this case at Barnard but you also have another police officer who has been walking the grounds and building at Davis as well? Are they receiving written permission to enter schools with firearms or being required to keep their service weapons out of the school?

Your prompt cooperation is appreciated.

Robert Cox

Managing Editor
New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound
http://www.newrochelletalk.com

Several off-the-record conversations with school officials followed with but no official, on-the-record statements were provided. A second message seeking comment was delivered to Lambert via email soon after.

From: Robert Cox
Subject: Herbert Monteroso
Date: January 15, 2013 10:30:44 AM EST
To: plambert@nred.org

Principal Lambert,

I am running a story that says you accepted the offer of a parent volunteer, a police officer, to provide armed security at Barnard over the past two weeks.

Further, that parents, staff and students were not informed as to who this person was, what they were doing at the school or that he was armed while in the building.

Also, that this parent went into classrooms and, in at least one instance, provide security training to students.

My deadline is noon today.

I was hoping to get a reply from you before the story runs.

Robert Cox

Managing Editor
New Rochelle's Talk of the Sound
http://www.newrochelletalk.com

It has now been two days and there has still been no official, on-the-record response from the district.

EDITOR'S NOTE: We stand by our story. It is based on multiple eyewitness accounts, two interviews with Monterossa and is entirely accurate. I would like, however, to address the claims by Lambert that this article is "thoughtless and irresponsible" and "entirely inaccurate". Quite the opposite is the case.

For two weeks, the purpose of Monterossa being in the building was kept secret from staff and parents. It was only revealed after Talk of the Sound ran this story. If Monterossa was simply there to help with sign in and to check doors, as Lambert now claims, then why not communicate that to building staff? Why not tell parents? Why did Bruce Daniele go to Barnard last Friday to investigate complaints about Monterossa? Why did Monterossa fail to show on Monday? Why did Monterossa state in his interview with Talk of the Sound that he would no longer go to the school except to drop off/pick up his child if talk of the Sound did not run the story? If all is as Lambert now claims, then why did she and district officials refuse to respond to my requests for comment? Why isn't Monterossa back this week helping with sign in and checking doors? Robo-calls to parents in a case like this are written and vetted at the highest levels of the administration with consultation of board officers (Polow, Petrone). All of those involved were given time to comment on the story before it ran and elected not to do so. Why?

The answer is that our story is accurate and having been found out Lambert and school officials are running for cover.

In 2010, Lambert sent home a similar robo-call message to parents regarding an intruder in the Barnard school. At that time, Lambert made two false claims: that the man was never inside the building (he was) and that the school was put on lockdown (it was not). Yet the response of the district to the incident was to institute a new policy that all district employees were required to wear and display their school ID at all times. Lanyards were purchased for every employee and distributed throughout the district. If the man at Barnard was never in the building then why would the district respond by requiring employees to wear their IDs whenever they were in a school building? Simple, the man was in the building and had been so for hours before being discovered hiding in a closet in a second floor classroom.

Similarly, if Monterossa was not armed and simply standing next to the security guard employed by the district then what value was he adding by his presence? Why were parents and staff not notified? Just like handing out lanyards makes no sense if the Barnard intruder was not in the building, the district's response does not make sense unless Monterossa was armed, as is standard practice for NYPD officers. The fact is that it is legal for a sworn police officer to carry a firearm in a school and there is no district policy against that so neither Monterossa nor Lambert broke any laws or violated school policy. The reason Monterossa is worried about his job is that NYPD requires their officers to obtain approval before working security in any capacity, paid or volunteer. From his reaction, it would appear that Monterossa failed to obtain that approval and, as a new officer still on probationary status the consequences for this actions may be more severe than an experienced officer.

RELATED: In 2011, it was discovered that Lambert's administrative license was not in order.

Commenting on this Blog entry is closed.

Anonymous on Sat, 01/19/2013 - 02:32

THIS IS EXACTLY WHY I WANT TO LEAVE NEW ROCHELLE

Martinez
Leroy
Ms. Anton
Lambert
MVHS GAME VS NRHS
And now this about the volunteer parent .

Except for the MVHS/NRHS game ... I have know and admired these people who have followed me since

Barnard --> Trinity --> IEYMS --> NRHS .

It does not matter whether they have committed the acts described and OVEREXAGGERATED on this site . The majority of these teachers and administrators are victims of DEFAMATION from this man ... ROBERT COX .

As learned by my brilliant Global History teacher at NRHS , COX reminds me of lectures of yellow journalism .

In no way or form and I ashamed of my hometown New Rochelle , the schools are not perfect , but excellent . Crime exists in anywhere in the world but it is usually low in New Rochelle . The diversity of the city and historical locations give New Rochelle it's beauty . The only reason I would like to get out of New Ro is this website , it is filled with inaccurate information, and accusations being stretched .

From ...
a disappointed senior and proud child of a NRSD employee :)

SENIORS 2013

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 19:24

Bob,

Can you explain why you print the name of the parent? The journalism background that you and I share has as part of its code of ethics not to release name(s) of sources unless expressly consented to by the source. I understand that you gave him conditions of anonymity but the second condition was not fair as he has no control over the district's response. Sure, he should not have agreed to that but taking advantage of someone who is not as astute as you, while not illegal, does question one's morals.

To be clear, I'm speaking for myself and no other person or entity. I also don't like to hide behind an anonymous post so I'm signing my name below.

Thanks,
Jeffrey Hastie

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 20:04

Jeffrey,

With all due respect, I would submit to you that I am far more familiar with the issue of ethics in online journalism than you. In fact, I am a nationally recognized expert on the subject: http://bit.ly/YbTA2k

Further there is no "code of ethics" for journalism. There is a code of ethics for some organizations such as the Society of Professional Journalists. I am not a member of those organization.

Beyond that, Herbert Monterossa was not a "source" but rather a "subject". I was reporting about him and not using him as a confidential source. I have never disclosed the identity of a confidential source. I never offered Monterossa confidentiality only that I would not use his name in the initial story and would leave him out of it except if the district's response to was to lie and mislead parents.

There is no ethical issue here. I clearly identified myself as a reporter and went beyond that to explain to him the nature of the story and the basis for my questions. Once I had the story ready to run I sought to offer him an opportunity to tell his side of the story. I made the same offer to Principal Lambert and to Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak and to Board President Petrone.

BTW, you can login to your account next and your name WILL appear when you comment.

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 20:51

Pick me up off the floor. I have fainted in shock that you are not a member of the Society of Professional Journalists. Let's take each word in the name of the organization to discover why. You are not fit to be a member of any society, you are the exact opposite of a professional and you are the farthest thing from a journalist that one could imagine.

Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:06

I cannot be a member of the SPJ because their membership policy is for people who work for traditional newspapers and magazines.

I have, however, worked closely with the SPJ over the years and addressed their membership at past conferences in places like NY, Washington and Chicago -- because I am a recognized expert on ethics in online journalism.

Here is a story about me from the SPJ web site.

http://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=722

Here is another.

http://www.aim.org/aim-column/media-bloggers-unite/

That was a very fun event because my presentation took place immediately preceding a panel with Woodward, Bernstein, Ben Bradlee and other folks involved in the Watergate reporting. It was the first time three three WaPo guys appeared together to discuss Watergate.

http://www.spj.org/news.asp?ref=725

willyrand on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 21:52

I'm not here to defend Bob, but it's always amusing to read people questioning his credibility. I have to believe they've either been a target of his reporting, or a family member. Sorry, if you or a family member is screwing the taxpayers, or putting school kids at risk, I want to know about it. As far as Bob being the farthest [sic] thing from a journalist, I'm not sure that is an insult. I'd love to know what you believe a journalist is and isn't. Drug dealers hate law enforcement, does it make the police something other than law enforcement?

Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 22:30
Title: well said

I totally agree with you. We have the right to know what is going on in our City!!!! Thanks Bob

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:24

Thanks for the support.

Let me think now if I can recall a few stories that the district denied publicly or through back channels.

I wrote about Jose Martinez for 8 days and was attacked every single day right up until he was arrested for child rape. He was later convicted.

I wrote about the Isaac Football Hazing...district ignored it until Channel 2 ran a story based on my reporting.

I wrote about the girl with the gun to her head on the bus...district ignored it until Channel 12 news picked it up from this site. At the ALMS PTA meeting, Principal Velma Whiteside was the first school official to stand up and acknowledge the incident.

Shall I continue?

The Barnard intruder incident...

The Girl Interrupted Book censorship...

Naughty Librarian, Marisa Anton...

Electrician caught in Dateline sting...

Sex assault in City Hall by glazier...

More?

Phony 211 waivers...

Davis playground assault...

Here is what I have to say about this whole idea of journalism -- there was an idea about a 100 years ago to create a class of people know as "journalists" who would be trained in "journalism schools" and have bestowed upon them "journalism awards" and attend seminars at "journalism think tanks" and teach in "journalism programs" and all that.

I am a reporter. I gather news and information and I make it available to the public.

I am a publisher. I provide a platform for myself and others to report news and information or offer commentary and opinion through this web site.

If you want to call me a journalist, or online journalist or citizen journalist or not I do not care.

Whatever you want to call me, Herbert Monterrosa was armed while he was working security on a volunteer basis at Barnard School and all of Patricia Lambert's lies piled one on top of another will not change that.

Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 20:26

95% of your stuff is garbage. You hit 1 out of 100 stories correct. That's 3 a year and really none of them have any real juice. They're all heresay stories you get from your cronies inside the schools who have gripe's with different administrators. Most of your filth is embellished and a good portion of it is false and misleading just like your hero fox news channel. The whole basis of your website is based upon your son getting caught cheating on his regents. Everyone knows the truth, but you.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sat, 01/19/2013 - 00:03

The issue was not that my son was "caught cheating on his regents" but that two teachers were "caught cheating on his regents". I believe, and the evidence supports, that Marisa Raniolo and Joyce Kent intentionally lowered his score on the test for their own sick, warped reasons. There are many good teachers in New Rochelle. These are not on that list. Don Conetta, Richard Organisciak and Sara Richmond worked very hard to cover up their actions.

But other than that, you are well informed.

Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 22:31

Well your wrong!! I have been following Bob since he started and not one story is wrong. Our City and our schools are ripping us all off.

Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 22:50
Title: LOL

How are they ripping us off? This outta be a good debate!! Ignorance is usually bliss. Cox is looking for stories which he can try to make money. His site is a few months away from being pulled cause he can't make anything. That's why he posted the help me article a few weeks ago. That's why he stopped reporting about certain criminal activities going on in New Rochelle. Those entities gave him money, and he stopped reporting them. In fact, he's just like everyone else in this city. Trust me, if the board of ed starting advertising on his site, he'd only report the good. He's a phony just like the rest of em. I do enjoy the fodder on this site and the hysteria it creates among the whackos of new rochelle. Those people need a place to enjoy themselves and tots certainly provides that medium. New Rochelle definitely knows who the whackos are now. They all come on here. Nobody recognizes cox for anything and he's no expert by any means. Noam Bramson is going to prove that by destroying astorino. Cox doesn't have much on bramson, and what he does have is being held over his head.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sat, 01/19/2013 - 00:08

"His site is a few months away from being pulled cause he can't make anything."

Pulled? By who?

"he stopped reporting about certain criminal activities going on in New Rochelle"

The only reason I would ever "stop" is because it is exhausting to report on criminal activities in New Rochelle and I need to rest before going back at it.

"Nobody recognizes cox for anything"

Well that you need not worry! Right?

I am not sure how my being an expert on ethics in online journalism would be related to the County Executive Race.

"Cox doesn't have much on bramson, and what he does have is being held over his head."

This last one doesn't even make sense.

Go sleep it off, you'll feel better in the morning.

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 19:55

Hopefully this will make other "sources" think twice before speaking to this blog. Bob Cox will sell out any source if it serves his purposes. I am sure the conversations with the parent are mischaracterized as much as the facts are in this article.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 20:09

Mr. Monterossa was not a source. He was the subject of the article.

I do not disclose confidential sources.

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 02:39

This State trooper might be available to watch the kids.
http://www.lohud.com/article/20130116/NEWS/301160088/FBI-Retired-trooper...

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 02:46
Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 02:26
Title: Nice

Besides the blatant lies in your article about what actually happened, as well as the insinuations you make, now you are going to reveal the name of a well-meaning parent just because YOU want to prove that YOU are right. How self-serving. Your "reporting," as usual, does nothing besides trying to incite fear and mistrust. The only person in this story who acted wrongly is the author. I hope people are learning not to believe what they read here and can see through all your innuendoes and accusations and outright lies. You are a detriment to our community.

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 03:56

All I know the more I read on this blog, the more I believe the author. You must work for the School district. Not one story that on this site has been false. This site has been an asset to our community!!

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 18:01

I don't work for the school district. I am a Barnard parent who knows that key elements of this story are, in fact, false. It is written in an inflammatory and accusative manner and does NOTHING to further school safety or relations. It is despicable that you have "outed" a parent who was helping around the school and WAS NOT ARMED NOR HIRED BY THE SCHOOL. If you really believe everything Bob Cox has to say, I have a bridge to sell you.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 19:33

As I have indicated I am not opposed to having armed police officers on duty at the school but when you write "...NOR HIRED BY THE SCHOOL" that is sorta the entire point.

Since you know the "key elements" of the story let's set aside where we disagree and focus on where we agree and what Lambert has admitted.

Herbert Monterossa is a parent who volunteered to augment security at Barnard school.

So now let's say there is an incident at the school and Herbert Monterossa intervenes. Let's say the incident is an irate parent who enters the school and is yelling and behaving in a threatening manner towards a teacher.

Relying on police training, Monterossa tackles the irate parent and brings them to the ground and then calls for back up. The police arrive at the scene.

Who is arrested?

Answer: Herbert Monterossa.

Think about it.

Andrew Newman on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 20:01

Elite Barnard Parent,

Please do tell why you are privy to information that other Barnard parents are restricted from. Did Principal Lambert contact you directly to inform you that she had made a unilateral decision to take up the offer of a NYPD officer to perform security on a voluntary basis ? If so why were the other parents of students and the school staff not informed ? Did they not meet the necessary elite criteria required for this special information ? 2,300 people have read this story, I am sure they would welcome the opportunity to hear the "real story" with bated breath.

On another note, we are so fortunate to have these elite NRSD parents to give us the "real story". Without this group can you imagine what the rest of us troglodytes would have to do in order to find out what is going on in our schools.

Anonymous on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 18:35

NY penal law section 265.01 is mentioned as prohibiting firearms possession on school grounds without written authorization. However, police officers, peace officers, military, etc, are exempt from this by penal law 265.20, and the individual in question is a police officer. No crime has been committed here.

Anonymous on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 23:22

He was off duty, which means he isn't a police officer at the time. (He was volunteering)

Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 01:01

WRONG! The penal law makes no such on or off duty distinction for POLICE or PEACE officers (NYS PL 265.20, sub a1b and c)

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 15:09
Title: Always a cop

An active-duty sworn police officer is always a sworn police officer 24/7. Cops are ALWAYS allowed to carry their firearm, pretty much anywhere, and that includes schools. For the NYPD, they used to require but now strongly encourage officers to carry at all times. Most do.

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 18:03
Title: SUPPOSITION

SUPPOSITION

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 20:13

Cops can carrying their guns where they want. Laws were changed after 9-11.

Anonymous on Fri, 01/18/2013 - 00:29

Do you even know what supposition means?

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Sat, 01/19/2013 - 00:11
Title: Yep

It means you don't know what you are talking about but doing your best to sound intelligent.

Tom Jeferstahl on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 17:39

What if this armed parent shot at students for no reason one day? It could happen with anyone you hire but there would have been a system that was followed. Can you imagine the monetary damages that would be awarded allowing an armed citizen into the schools? Granted, this was a a time when people were very scared or copy cat acts and we usually allow people to bend the rules during times of uncertainty. Let's be thankful no harm was done.

tjmc on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 17:41

Give her a raise and a promotion.

When all are worried after the recent shootings, a qualified law enforcement officer and parent offers to help. His help is accepted. Sounds good to me.

I've been to Barnard several times in the last month to my observation the front door is well managed.

Give her two raises and two promotions.

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 04:00

I am a parent of children in the New Rochelle School system. And I know I would not want this person in my children's school. Who is he really?? Do we know?? Did he have a background check?? GET RID OF LAMBERT!!

Anonymous on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 12:44

As a parent who's child attendend Barnard, I would like to say to the IDIOTS who are calling for Principle Lambert to be fired, she is an EXCELLENT mentor for our students. To her credit she was unafraid to act as a leader in a time where emotions were pushed to the limit in order to safeguard our children. To often people fail to act due to fear of appraisal from others. Leaders such as Principles have to make decisions! That is what the essence of leadership is. Mrs. Lambert's decision to have security performed by a private person was not only prudent but may have comforted students and teachers alike .KPC

Anonymous on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 18:50

Who is she to allow this in our schools. As a parent I feel she had not right, with out going through the right channels of comand and follow the laws. I also think there is nothing wrong with legal guns, and nothing wrong if we do need armed guards in our schools. But Principle Lambert has to follow the laws, she does not own the school!

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 13:24

As I said below, I personally do not have a problem with having armed security in our schools. On the other hand I can understand why many parents do not. And there are certainly risks.

The issue here is doing it secretly and without board approval.

In my view, this is the sort of decision that should have been done openly, with written authorization, background checks, specific rules, board discussion, etc. After all, armed security is not much of a deterrent if no one knows about it.

Making decisions is a requirement of leadership to be sure but there is more to leadership than making decisions -- communication, clear vision, inspiring others, a sense of mission, etc.

In this case, Lambert did not even tell her own staff of this decision. Many did not know until this article ran. Parents were not informed nor was the district leadership including the board. You can't lead if you do not communicate; leaders who do not communicate with their followers are also known as dictators.

Anonymous on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 04:03

Bob I totally agree with you!!!

Anonymous on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 19:20
Title: Great idea

Seems like she made a good decision. She didn't spend any money and she got a qualified and motivated professional with a vested interest in the safety of the school.

K COTS on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:42

Lambert NEEDS TO BE FIRED

Above you all on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:24

Richard Organisciak need to go with Lambert

Anonymous on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 18:45
Title: I AGREE

What is going on? Who does our School district employees think they are? It is time for KING Organisciak to go with Lambert. I can't believe this went on. It is unbelievable!!!!!

ex teacher on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 01:33

principal lambert is a lier, the children cant be safe as long as she remains

Anonymous on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 00:07
Title: Barnard

I totally agree m if she's not u really have to wonder

Anonymous on Tue, 01/15/2013 - 23:53

You need to use common sense and ralize this is a total pack of lies

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 02:02

My own view is that I would support the district if they decided to have off-duty or retired police officers work as armed security at the schools. Had Lambert done this the right way I would have supported her. It is that the Barnard community was not informed that they had an armed person in the building, that there was not background check or written approval from the BoE. There is also the rather large liability here if something had gone wrong.

The problem here is that her decision to allow armed security at the school stands in direct contradiction to what we have heard from Schools Superintendent Richard Organisciak and the board about how they are operating post-Newtown.

Just imagine what would have happened if there WAS an armed shooter invasion at Barnard and this cop got into a shoot out with the suspect. Even if the cop did everything right and stopped the suspect, what then? Lawsuits all around.

Anonymous on Wed, 01/16/2013 - 13:06

AND YOU VEHEMENTLY SUPPORT THE IDEA OF FIGHTING GUNS WITH GUNS. Cox, you're a liar and a con artist. Only when something appears to have broken the establishment do you try and attack it.

willyrand on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 18:44

Bob already pointed out the absurdity of "belief" in the second amendment, so I don't need to go there. If one supports the second amendment, does that mean he MUST support a principal allowing an armed security guard in a school without approval? The fact he believes that the second amendment exists, precludes him from criticizing the principal? Do you have any examples of Bob giving the green light to corruption outside the "establishment?" Further, how could you possibly be against a man who is willing to point out corruption in our local government? That used to be the job of the media. I sincerely hope you're not a teacher.

willyrand on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 18:44

Bob already pointed out the absurdity of "belief" in the second amendment, so I don't need to go there. If one supports the second amendment, does that mean he MUST support a principal allowing an armed security guard in a school without approval? The fact he believes that the second amendment exists, precludes him from criticizing the principal? Do you have any examples of Bob giving the green light to corruption outside the "establishment?" Further, how could you possibly be against a man who is willing to point out corruption in our local government? That used to be the job of the media. I sincerely hope you're not a teacher.

Robert Cox's picture
Robert Cox on Thu, 01/17/2013 - 15:56
Title: Calm Down!

I cannot understand you.

I "believe" in the 2nd Amendment? I am not sure belief has much to do with it. There IS a 2nd Amendment. It's a fact. Right?

I don't know what fighting guns with guns mean.

What does "when something appears to have broken the establishment do you try and attack it" mean?