Board President Raymond and the Nashua School Board May Now Be In Violation of Federal Law - Granite Grok

Board President Raymond and the Nashua School Board May Now Be In Violation of Federal Law

Heather Raymond

Without a meeting or a quorum, some portion of the Nashua School Board produced an official public action released by Board President Heather Raymond ‘As the Boardagainst a fellow member. This violated board policy, state law, and now – since the same board refuses to allow the accused equity, federal law.

A May 10th letter and press release signed by Nashua Board of Education President Heather Raymond was offered to the public and the press. No meeting was held, no vote taken.

There are no meeting minutes, and only recently have the players involved been named. One of whom insisted they were not involved but now are – none of which technically matters absent any actual meeting, quorum, and vote before the release of the demand.

This violated documented board policy. It violated State open meeting requirements and the right to know law. And I now feel quite sure they have graduated to violating Federal Law.

BONNER-LYONS v. SCHOOL COMMITTEE OF the CITY OF BOSTON

There may be a more recent case but this 1973 District Court opinion cites and affirms what should be commonly understood.

“it is well settled that once a forum is opened for the expression of views, regardless of how unusual the forum, under the dual mandate of the first amendment and the equal protection clause neither the government nor any private censor may pick and choose between those views which may or may not be expressed.”

Put another way; Tax dollars cannot be used to support and promote the views of one group while denying the use of the same system to groups representing other points of view.

An illegitimate public statement presented no differently than any other legitimate communication by the Nashua Board of Education was issued demanding that Doris Hohensee resign. No meeting, no hearing, no opportunity for open argument or defense. Hohensee is entitled to equity. Equal access to these same mediums for her rebuttal.

And just such a rebuttal exists from Doris Hohensee and fellow board member Howard Coffman. We published it.

No Relief Forthcoming

It is my understanding that both board members have asked the Board President, Heather Raymond, to allow it to be released and made available under the same circumstances as the Letter and press release from May 10. 

The 1973 ruling reiterates the requirement that Raymond and the District ensure that,

 “fair and reasonable timely opportunity is afforded to others having differing views to use the same channels.”

Hohensee was attacked via these “channels” and so should have an equal opportunity to respond. As of this writing that has not happened.

While the people of Nashua may or may not care about the injustice of these actions, perhaps they will concern themselves with more practical concerns. I have no inside knowledge as to the likelihood of such a challenge but the Board and District have deliberately made themselves ripe for a well-publicized and costly lawsuit. If not now, later. 

Elected officials who abuse their power inevitably find themselves wasting your tax dollars in court to defend their arrogance.

Sunlight is the Best Disinfectant

I do know that regardless of your opinion about the circumstances or the players, the acts themselves should make you bristle. Elected representatives, a majority of the Nashua Board of Education, are deliberately ignoring policy and law in pursuit of a political vendetta. Local activists and Democrat party operatives are all-in on supporting these tactics.

That should not be comforting to anyone citizen of Nashua. And while I happen to believe the smear is just that, we’ve long since moved on to more serious territory.

These board members are serial abusers of both their own policies and the law. We plan to use the tools provided by law and the first amendment to investigate and report on these indiscretions. We also expect that this exposure will become increasingly uncomfortable for Superintendent Mosley, Board President Raymond, the Nashua School District, the City of Nashua, and their many progressive water carriers.

They are not above their own rules or the law and the people need to know that someone somewhere is willing to speak for them. We intend to do that.