What to do: Gilford School Board Stonewalls a Right-to-Know Demand - Granite Grok

What to do: Gilford School Board Stonewalls a Right-to-Know Demand

Gilford School District

Just because you’ve thrown 28 pages at someone and called them “responsive” doesn’t mean you have answered an RSA 91-A demand. Which is what GSD Superintendent Kirk Beitler did.

This whole thing started at the beginning of last month when the Gilford School Board re-activated the process of putting in Policy JBAB dealing with transgender students.  What I have learned thus far is that ONE child out of 1,000 students is now turning the whole school system upside down.  Earlier posts on this are here:

My RSA 91-A request can be found here (“Gilford School Board: when a Transgender policy has violations but no penalties? Use an RSA 91:A Demand“) and concentrated on ONE thing – where did the Gilford School Board think it had the right to coerce speech by students, staff, and visitors?

“…is a violation of this policy” – translation: The Gilford School Board WILL hold you accountable for not calling a “he” a “she” simply because ze wants you to. This is the Government not respecting a whole bunch of Constitution values found in my RTK.

His measly response:

And what did he send as “responsive records”? Nada, nothing, nein, zippo.  See below. So, I wrote another one. A lot sharper this time. Back to Beitler as well as the Chair and Vice-Chair of the Gilford School Board. The first part dealt with what I was charged for (my fault, should have demanded electronic copies instead of defaulting to hardcopy – $7.50 wasted):

From: “Skip” <Skip@GraniteGrok.com>
To: “Beitler, Kirk” <kbeitler@sau73.org>
Cc: “Chris McDonough (chris@fratellos.com)” <chris@fratellos.com>; “Gretchen Gandini” <ggandini@sau73.org>
Sent: 10/2/2019 10:01:33 PM
Subject: Re: Right to know

Having just picked up the response to my RSA 91-A Right to Know request (“RTK”), I found:

  • A copy of the text of SB263 (2019)
  • A copy of the potential SAU #73 Policy JBAB (2019)
  • A copy of the boilerplate for such a policy from the NH School Board Association from 2008
  • A copy of the Portsmouth School Board for Policy JBAB
  • A copy of the Shaker Regional School District for Policy JBAB


  • Minutes from the Gilford School Board meeting dated January 6, 2017
  • Minutes from the Gilford School Board meeting dated January 9, 2017

NOTHING that spoke to the purpose of the RTK – nothing.  Just boilerplate from other School Boards.  So, is this how policy is now made in Gilford – simply pass around enough pieces of paper and sooner or later it just becomes “official”?  Both Chris and Gretchen have told me that they are trying to make the GSB a more response board.  While I DID congratulate them on some progress during the meeting I attended (above), this ain’t it.

I dryly note that there are no materials that would be considered to be responsive even though there was at least ONE Gilford School Board meeting announcement in in August and at least one School Board meeting on this during September.  Why weren’t those responsive materials supplied (e.g., announcements, meeting notes) from or for either the School Board meetings or the Policy Committee meeting?

Why aren’t the minutes from those meetings not publicly available on the GSD website contra NH statutes?

NONE of these materials address my RTK dealing with:

Please know that this is a formal Right to Know (“RTK”) request under RSA 91-a in the matter of your Policy JBAB; specifically Guidance C which reads (emphasis mine):

Guidance C.

C. Names/Pronouns
A student has the right to be addressed by a name or pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity. A Court-order name or gender change is not required and the student need not change his or her official records. The intentional or persistent refusal to respect a student’s gender identity (for example, intentionally referring to the student by a name or pronoun that does not correspond to the student’s gender identity) is a violation of this policy.

I am looking for all materials (e.g., in either hard copy or softcopy formats) of emails, documents, voicemails, minute meetings (draft and approved), videos, notes from conversations between the School Board members) pertaining to the above part of your Policy JBAB (“Transgender and Gender Non-conforming Students”). This also includes all other third party entities including (but not limited to) such as the NH School Board Association.

Co-incident with this demand is that any and all responsive materials for this demand are to be retained and not to be deleted or altered in any fashion.

The purpose of this RTK is to determine:

How the Board determined that “A student has the right to be addressed by a name or pronoun that corresponds to the student’s gender identity”. Please state the statute or ordinance that authorizes that “right”?

et al.

Much of my FIRST RTK was a demand to determine where the Gilford School Board had the authority to demand/coerce speech (e.g., Pronouns) on the part of students, staff, and visitors.  Let me be honest and blunt – Kirk, you blew me off by sending a bunch of papers that MAY have been used in crafting the Gilford JBAB Policy. At no point was my concern addressed in how your Pronoun subpolicy was crafted (e.g., notes, communications, et al) nor how violations of said subpolicy would be meted out.

Short translation: School Boards believe they are the PC Thought Police if they are keeping this subpolicy in their policies. Indoctrination, much?

This was a blow-off by a Government employee – Superintendent Kirk Beitler.  This can only have three rational reasons behind it:

  • He’s lazy
  • He’s incompetent
  • He either doesn’t want to let the cat out of the bag – or isn’t being allowed to – that School Boards all over the State have no Power to do this.

And I’ll allow that it may be a combination of the three as well. Which then points back to the New Hampshire School Board Association “professional staff” back in 2008 (the copyright date in the “responsive records” packet Beitler sent) which most likely is the progenitor of this whole thing.

Part 2 of this Second RTK to be continued…