HOLYOKE, Mass. (WGGB) – The mother of a Holyoke High School cheerleader didn’t want to use her name or be on camera, yet still wanted to express her frustrations with a recently hired cheerleading coach.
Many parents think she stole more than $4,000 from both junior varsity and varsity squads.
The coach is a volunteer, not an employee of Holyoke Public Schools. “They did a CORI on her, she passed the CORI, so then they gave her full reign, which to me, from the outside looking in, that’s unusual,” the mother said.
The parent said the money was in a bank account in the new coach’s name. Parents realized it was gone after the coach asked them for money to buy bows. One of the parents checked the price of the bows online and found out they were half the price of what the coach was charging.
The parents held a meeting just a couple of weeks ago, where they asked the woman to provide some receipts. “She showed up at the meeting with no receipts and no checkbook. So to me, as a parent, from the outside looking in, that’s a red flag. Why wouldn’t you come with that? Everything should be out in the open,” added the parent.
She says bank statements do go to the high school, but this parent believes someone was taking them out of a mailbox. She claims the account went unchecked for 2 months, “To me, I think that the account should be under ‘Holyoke High School, In Care Of.’ It should not be to someone personally.”
Superintendent Dr. Sergio Paez says the school has no jurisdiction over the money, because of something called a Booster Club. It means that the squad is run independently from the school. When it comes to finances, parents of the students in that club have say over the money.
Dr. Paez does confirm a police investigation is ongoing, and that the school is keeping an eye on the situation. He adds that the parents asked the coach to give the money back late last week.
When that didn’t happen, they filed a police complaint.
We had no luck trying to get in touch with the cheering coach.
The parents will be having a meeting at Holyoke High School tomorrow at 6p.m. in room 301 to try and further sort out the situation.