Online Petition Calls For YEA Board To Resign Amid Allegations
Group tops 2,500 signatures
ALLENTOWN, Pa. - Fallout continues from the scandal rocking Allentown's famed Cadets drum and bugle corps.
An online petition is circling calling for the Board of Directors of Youth Education in the Arts to resign following the group's longtime director's resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations.
A group called 'The Cadets and Friends' started the petition on change.org Friday night.
The group originally asked for 2,500 signatures, which they achieved and are now looking for 5,000.
Following a Philadelphia Inquirer story earlier this week which published nine allegations of sexual misconduct against former Allentown Cadets Director, George Hopkins. Hopkins resigned despite denying the accusations.
The Board of Directors of Youth Education in the Arts also put out a statement calling this a "painful moment."
The board also said it conducted an investigation into the matter and claimed "there was no cooperation at all from anyone making those accusations."
They went on to say "no responsible board of directors can take action based solely on anonymous allegations."
Upset about the response, the group 'The Cadets and Friends' started the a change.org petition asking for the resignation of the Board of Directors for YEA!.
'The Cadets and Friends' said in its petition, "it has become clear that this Board is incapable or unwilling to address the actual problem."
The group goes on to call the YEA! statement "the worst kind of victim blaming."
Some who signed the petition explained why they did.
Chris Perdikos commented "Drum corps members, staff and volunteers need to feel safe at all times !!"
Lenette Haliburton said "I'm still honestly shocked that an organization would keep something like this under the radar for so long."
Yet, we've learned this is not the first time the Allentown Cadets have dealt with scandal this year.
In January, the organization dismissed its Brass Caption Head and contract worker, Scott Atchison after working for the Cadets for just a few months.
According to media reports from 2003, Atchison was arrested in California on an allegation of videotaping a 17-year-old female student changing in a private room while serving as a high school band director.
Atchison resigned after his arrest.
On the site Drum Corps Planet... one person who identifies himself as SLA writes "it's time to set the record straight."
"2003 I was falsely accused of wrong doing during my tenure as a teacher in California."
I have consistently said nothing wrong took place."
Though the court records show Atchison was found guilty, the poster SLA says,
"...that charge was later dismissed."
And court records back that up.
The YEA board released a statement to 69 News in reference to Atchison saying quote:
"YEA! only employs people who pass the required background check."
Drum Corps International ... the body that sanctions the Cadets said it is conducting its own investigation.
It is unclear what 'The Cadets and Friends' next step will be should it get the 2500 signatures it's seeking.