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'They totally let us down'

   Feeling angry and betrayed, the parents of the kindergartner allegedly fondled by a teacher's aide at Discovery School 67 are speaking out.

   In an interview with The Buffalo News, the couple said the case was badly mishandled  from the start. Police were not notified until nearly four months after the incident, and neither were they.

   The parents said School 67 Principal Carmela Botticello acted indecisively when the alleged incident was reported to her by a teacher last November.

   They question whether Joy Trotter, fired as human resources director for mishandling the district investigation, actually conducted any investigation at all.

   And the parents describe as "a farce" Superintendent James A. Williams' claim that he signed for a certified letter from the boy's teacher last November, but passed it on unopened to an office worker to read and distribute to the appropriate department head. The letter detailed the alleged abuse.

   Only the persistence and courage of the boy's teacher ultimately brought the case to light, the parents said.

   "I'm absolutely disgusted," the mother said. "They totally let us down."

   -- Peter Simon



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