Mouth That Roars

Bill Liblick has made a name for himself of National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the "MOUTH THAT ROARS" Column in the Sullivan County Post.

- Subsribe at
February 20th, 2014

Outrage over Heroin Discovery

Expressions of outrage were heard and felt all over Sullivan County this week upon learning that heroin and other drug paraphernalia were found in a faculty bathroom at the Benjamin Cosor Elementary School in Fallsburg in December and then again earlier this month.

Yes, indeed Sullivan County made the news once more.

What’s even more outrageous, deplorable, and shocking is what has been disclosed during the past few days.

All under the shield of a “Police Investigation” – School Superintendent Ivan Katz did not inform parents or teachers or other staff of these incidents until reportedly information pertaining to the discovery of the heroin and drug paraphernalia were being leaked out to the general public.

What is known is that the drugs were found by a school employee and a school police officer. Police say surveillance video shows six teachers and a teacher’s aide going into the bathroom. The seven were asked to take drug tests, but police said they all refused because their union and attorneys advised them not too.

The Fallsburg Police Department is an excellent police force led by Simmie Williams and their investigation should not be used by Katz and his School Board as a pawn for their irresponsibility in not taking measures in protecting the students and informing parents.

If those involved did not want to take a drug tests, Katz should have suspended all the employees with pay pending the outcome of the investigation. Since when do unions dictate the public safety of our children?

What are the unions hiding? Are they afraid someone would have tested positive for another drug like marijuana?  Are they more concerned about privacy Issues than protecting our children? Shouldn’t unions support random drug testing when it comes to those who care for our children?

 Andrea Hook of Woodridge agrees there should be. She has embarked on a petition drive on to change the law in Albany to mandate drug testing.

 The petition states: Benjamin Cosor Elementary School in Fallsburg, NY has several teachers that are suspects in an investigation regarding heroin. These teachers are hiding behind their union to protect themselves but what about protecting our children. All teachers should be subject to random drug tests. Changing this legislation would help to provide the children with a safe and sound free public education.

If you would like to sign the online petition, it can be found online at:

District Attorney Jim Farrell cautioned against a rush to judgment and said that the administration of the Fallsburg school district has cooperated fully with the police investigation.

“I view this matter as extremely serious, as everyone in the community should, and the criminal investigation will leave no stone unturned, in our attempt to identify the individual who brought these dangerous narcotics into a grammar school, and hold that person accountable and responsible.”

We do know that illegal drug use and abuse is rampant in Sullivan County. Heroin use has exploded. And, we as a society must do something to stop this. These drugs are cheap and easily accessible – law enforcement has a war on their hands.

We also know something else – there is an employee at the Benjamin Cosor Elementary School that needs help, and hopefully that person will get the assistance needed to live a productive drug free life.


 Parent Speaks Out

I asked outraged parent, organizer, and Fallsburg community activist Juni Vega to speak from the heart and tell all of Sullivan County his and other parents concerns on the matter. Here is what he has to say:

First of all thank you for bringing some light to this matter.

On Friday February 14, 2013, just before 3:00 pm I received a call from my dad, regarding a possible drug-related issue at our children’s school, BCES. I quickly reached out to my dad and a number of friends, all who confirmed that news regarding two drug incidents, had just made press on a local news Facebook page, The Sullivan County Post.

Based on the information I was provided I immediately drafted a brief letter and hand-delivered the letter to the BCES Principal, Ms. Stienhour, as I picked up my 7 year old second grade daughter (one of two children who attend the district, the other child is a 6 year old first grader) that same day.

Ms. Stienhour seemed a bit surprised as she read the letter in my presence, and perhaps because the incidents that were just being reported by the district to the community were receiving almost immediate attention from a parent. Ms. Stienhour expressed that she understood my concerns and that the safety of the children where her priority. She assured me that she would immediately forward the letter to Dr. Katz for his review and response.

 By the time I reached my car with my daughter Ms. Stienhour had called my cell phone to inform me that she had just faxed a copy of the letter to Dr. Katz and that she then confirmed his receipt of the same letter by a follow-up phone call to Dr. Katz.

Within a matter of ten or so minutes I then received a call from Dr. Katz, who informed me that he was in receipt of my letter and that he wanted to assure me that “the incidents were immediately addressed and the police have been involved from day one.”

I asked him what has been done with the seven possible individuals who were observed entering and exiting the restroom and he was clear in expressing, “no one has been charged here, there isn’t even an arrest and the police are handling it.”

Dr. Katz never answered my question about what has been done with the seven possible individuals related to anyone or both of the drug-related incidents at the school.

And with Dr. Katz continued reassurance that the matter was important to him I really got the feeling that he was only interested in telling me anything that would calm my sudden interest in the matter.

As a parent of small, school age children my main concern revolves around three components that bring this story front and center.

First and foremost is the health and safety of our children and all students attending BCES. 

The second is that not one parent was informed about the occurrence of the first incident.

The third is that all of the potential suspects in this matter, six faculty members and one aid have continued to interact with our children and other students without much objection on the part of Dr. Katz, and because an investigation is being conducted by the police.

Dr. Katz, as the executive officer of the school district, has mismanaged these matters from the first incident, which reportedly occurred in December 2013, by simply not reporting the incident to the parents of BCES students.

It is bewildering to say the least in knowing that on any given day, I as a parent, will receive at least one robo-communication in either the form of a phone call, a text message, or an email – sometimes all three, regarding a change in the after school kids club program being canceled, about how there will be a PTA meeting on the following day, etc.

Yet, not one effort was made to contact parents regarding something as serious as the first drug-related incident that reportedly occurred in December. There is no excuse for this lack of communication.

Actually, if we wanted to get technical regarding district policies….. There is obviously a double standard that applies here and because, after reviewing the district’s Board of Education policies, as well as the district’s code of conduct, the district’s objectives, and even the Superintendents Action Plan, Dr. Katz boldly violated and disregarded, not just one or two but many of the same measures put in place that make up the structure of the school district and it’s governing body.

Had a student been part of a drug-related incident as noted above, not only would that student have violated the district’s code of conduct there would have been immediate and swift action to notify a parent / guardian and execute an automatic suspension pending expulsion from the district. 

FCSD Board of Ed Policy


“The Superintendent shall be accountable at all times to the Board.”

As you then put into context the second drug-related incident at BCES, which again occurred under the watch of Dr. Katz on February 11, 2014, and how Dr. Katz, once more, failed to promptly notify parents of BCES students, one is left to question the ability of Dr. Katz in being able to carry out all of the duties of Superintendent of the FCSD, as well as ensure the health and safety of all our elementary school children.

Dr. Katz did not make any effort to notify district parents regarding a second drug-related incident in a faculty bathroom until February 17, 2014, via a letter that was sent home with students at the end of the day. And information from a reliable, confidential source that works in the Superintendent’s office, expressed to me that Dr. Katz only decided to inform parents on 2/17/2014 because he had been tipped off that both incidents would be reported on by the local media.

Therefore, it is understood that the local police department is still investigating the first BCES drug-related incident reported in December 2013, which occurred two months ago. Now, the police are also investigating the second 2/11/2014 drug-related incident- where at least six faculty members and one aid are observed entering and exiting the restroom during the time in question on 2/11/2014.

These two very serious incidents, both which are drug-related and potentially involve at least one or more BCES staff member(s) raise further questions about Dr. Katz handling this very serious and dangerous matter accordingly, and with the best interest of promoting not only the health and safety of all BCES students but the educational goals of the district in being able to provide for a safe place for learning.

Though the local police department is investigating both reported incidents, Dr. Katz has remained inactive and very passive in assuring that our children are not in harm’s way by the potential and continued interaction of anyone and or all of the seven individuals identified as having used the faculty restroom where the drugs were found on 2/11/2014.

What is Dr. Katz waiting for, a third incident?

Is Dr. Katz waiting for a true tragedy to occur on the campus of BCES?

There are seven individuals who are identified as possibly having something to do with these drug-related incidents yet there have been no measures put into place to monitor or even segregate these same individuals from our students, especially considering that all refused to cooperate with the police in providing urine samples.

Seriously, this makes you want to think about what they are hiding or who are they trying to protect, but the kids aren’t to worry because the police are already investigating. Until a complete investigation has been concluded in both incidents, one or all seven staff members in question potentially pose a daily risk to the students of BCES, because it is not known what may happen next. 

As a result of this there are two things we are demanding: that the seven staff members are administratively removed with pay provided they offer a urine sample, without pay in denying providing a urine sample, until the investigation is concluded.

Furthermore, we are requesting that Dr. Katz resign from his position as Superintendent of the FCSD for his grossly mishandling of both drug-related incidents and for failure to ensure the safety of our students.

The bottom line – all our requests have everything to do with the FCSD holding the safety of our children as the number one priority. With the presence of both drug-related incidents our children have been placed in danger each time, and the integrity of school being a safe place that is conducive to learning and growing has been compromised with each of these two incidents, as well as with Dr. Katz inability to take action to, at the very least, remove the seven individuals who may be involved in this matter. 

As a parent of two very young, district students I am demanding not only answers but action.  

Thank you,

Juni Vega


Katz Letter to Parents

Below is the letter Fallsburg School Superintendent Ivan Katz sent to parents this week:

Dear Parent/Guardian:
I write to inform you of incidents that have recently occurred within the Fallsburg Central School District. An employee of the District found drugs and related paraphernalia in a school rest room, and we immediately reported this to the Fallsburg Police Department. Subsequent to this incident, the School Resource Officer found drugs and related paraphernalia in the same rest room and reported that finding to his commanding officer at the Police Department. The Fallsburg Police Department is conducting a criminal investigation of these incidents. We are fully cooperating with the police in this investigation and, in order not to interfere with that investigation, cannot comment further at this time. We are most appreciative of the Fallsburg Police Department’s efforts and support. We are committed to providing schools for students, staff, and the community that are safe and free from illegal drugs. If anyone has information regarding these incidents, please contact Police Chief Simmie Williams of the Fallsburg Police Department at 845-434-4422.

Thank you

Ivan J. Katz, Ed.D
Superintendent of Schools


Bill Liblick has made a name for himself on National TV Talk Shows where he spouted his outspoken views from the front row. Now he offers you his opinion every week in the “MOUTH THAT ROARS” Column in THE SULLIVAN COUNTY POST.


Comments are closed.