What to do: Gilford School Board Stonewalls a Right-to-Know Demand - Part 2 - Granite Grok

What to do: Gilford School Board Stonewalls a Right-to-Know Demand – Part 2

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I know, I know, – late again to finish this saga of how the Gilford School Board finally figured out they were blowing smoke with their notion that they had the Power to grant a new Right upon a person suffering from gender dysphoria that then placed legal obligations upon others:

The first Right to Know I sent to the Gilford School Board on this

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”?

This question was totally blown off by Superintendent Kirk Beitler by simply sending me other copies of the same Policy JBAB (“Transgenders and Gender Non-Conforming Students”) where the 2008 NH School Board Association missive had been adopted by other school districts as “proof” that they had such a Power (Government has Power, Individuals have Rights). The crux of what I sent was this:Followed by:

The Right-to-Know Law does not require the District to answer questions.

My conclusion at the time was:

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.

That School Boards all over the State have no Power to do this.” is THE operative statement.

But I was still looking for answers, so I submitted another RTK (Right To Know):

Much of my 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.
Therefore I am issuing a new RSA 91-A Right To Know demand – To the Gilford School Board of the SAU 73 School District:
Since we are a Dillion’s Rule State, all political subdivisions of the State of NH can act only when there is authorizing NH RSAs to allow such actions. What is the underlying and authorizing legislation (e.g., which NH RSAs?) that give the Gilford School Board the Power to coerce the speech of others in support of Policy JBAB?  What is the underlying and what is the authorizing legislation that allows the Board to assess penalties for violations of your “Pronouns” (as of yet unknown) without Due Process?
Please note that mere copying of a sample policy, from 2008, from the NH School Board Association does not constitute any authorizing Powers. Just because other SAUs have fallen into lockstep with the NHSBA also does not constitute any authorizing Powers (e.g., “but look what THEY did!” – the little kid defense).
I previously listed in my first RTK (see below) all of the places that I saw that would deny the Gilford School Board that Power.  You have not denied any of those Constitutional Articles / Amendments prohibiting Government (of which you are a part) from doing so.
Thus, again, list how the Gilford School Board has the ability to do so.

The answer was this

November 14, 2019

Skip Murphy

Re: Right-to-Know Law Request

Dear Mr. Murphy:

Tuesday, November 12, I received a copy of the “Right to Know Demand” that you gave the Gilford School Board members at their last meeting. You wanted a list of authorizing legislation for Guidance C in Policy JBAB.

The Board is considering a sample policy from New Hampshire School Boards Association to comply with the law.

The Right-to-Know Law requires the District to provide pre-existing documents that are not exempt from disclosure. It does not require the District to create lists or answer questions. The District does not have the document you requested.


Kirk Beitler

Note the operative line again: “It does not require the District to create lists or answer questions”. Once again, avoidance of the important question.

So that is THREE times that the School District refused to answer the most important question – where does this instance of a local government subdivision get its Power to put such a policy (even a sub-part) into force?

In the mean time, I put in another RTK just to test the “doesn’t answer questions” – from what GL accounts is the District pulling from in order to satisfy SB142 (the unfunded mandate signed by Gov Sununu forcing School Districts to provide free menstrual products in bathrooms. Well, that got me an answer (31-2143-56100-37 and 31-2134-56100-47-00000). So the District WILL answer questions.

BOOM!  An RTK asking a question answered!  Never one to leave such an opening left unentered, I replied.