Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Whistleblower...Kathy Cole

Her-Community2 met with Kathy Cole. She is considered to be a whistle blower, but quite honestly she is simply exposing corruption in New York schools. She and her husband have a family owned business that they had inherited from her father in law, who was a union carpenter. The business they own specializes in the maintenance and repair of the public schools'gym partition doors, bleachers, etc.  There have been 4  deaths involving children and motorized folding partitions and about a dozen more accidents throughout North America. The most recent tragedy occurred in May of this year in Virginia. Wesley Lipicky, nine years old was crushed and killed in the same way and with the same equipment. What Kathy is doing is exposing that many districts are not performing New York State mandated, maintenance on the safety devices for the partitions. New York state is the only state in the nation that requires by law that only "trained" personnel are allowed to operate these partitions and that safety devices are installed to stop the motion of the partition if a child is sensed in its path. The term "trained" only came into question when her concerns were brought to public attention. What Kathy discovered is that there is a massive non-compliance with these safety devices. . In 1991, in Half Hollow School district

at Sunquam elementary school, a gym teacher jammed a piece of wood against a safety button so the partition would continuously close while he went to the boys locker room. Deanna Moon, a 9 year old girl became trapped between the gym wall and the divider as she tried to pass through as the partition was closing. The safety device is designed to prevent this. The young girl died nine days later from her injuries. Kathy has been a labeled a greedy vendor by some, but to most, she is truly concerned about our children and wants the laws enacted to protect our children, to be enforced. Kathy produced a documentary in the hopes of spreading awareness regarding the national safety issue facing our children in their school gyms. Our children are mandated to participate in physical education and every school gym is a footprint of each other. It is our obligation to provide them with a safe environment. In New York state the law is funded by the legislature to enable schools to comply for the safety of our children. This law is not being monitored by any agency. Kathy   has been a hands-on vendor and has extensive documentation from her technicians that there are no safety devices  installed, lacked proper maintenance, or bypassed to give a false sense of security. Bypassing the safety device is illegal, the certificate of occupancy for the school can be withheld and a penalty of 15 days in jail can be issued. There has never been any such punishment in 17 years. Since 2009 when Kathy began blowing the whistle about non-compliance, government officials have been lied to about compliance with this law. Nine years later, Kathy is still fighting to make certain that the schools are in compliance with these devices for the partitions. As a result of her WHISTLEBLOWERS, her documentary, several Production and Media companies have been with Kathy to tell her story. In addition, Kathy recently started her own production company, WHISTLEBLOWER PRODUCTIONS,LLC giving whistleblowers a voice. For the past 10 years, Kathy and her family have endured retaliation and abuse of power for reporting this non-compliance. Together as a family, they are still strong. The picture of the flag with the Statue of Liberty was done by her daughter Molly. Between the red stripes, are articles of whistleblowers fighting for children's safety. I asked Kathy where does she see herself in 5 years? Her answer? It has been suggested by several people that she run for public office, but she sees herself behind the camera helping people tell their stories about blowing the whistle and continuing to expose corruption. Anyone interested in receiving more information in regards to Whistleblower productions LLC, you may contact:

Kathy Cole

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