There is nothing more disturbing than when someone reveals that they’ve been sexually assaulted by a teacher. Someone that parents would like to be able to trust. But that’s what has happened in SAU16 according to documents that I will share in this post.
As you can see from this screenshot, this is an e-mail that appears to have been sent by Dr. David Ryan to the New Hampshire Department of Education. I have followed up with the recipient, Richard Farrell to see all of the email exchanges between Dr. Ryan and Mr. Farrell.
From what I can tell, the Superintendent followed the law by notifying law enforcement in Stratham along with the New Hampshire Department of Education DoE, but were parents notified? Especially since the officer does question the alleged victim about other potential victims? Sometimes it takes transparency to bring other victims forward.
Does the teacher alleged to have committed sexual assault on a student, still work in the district? Was he put on administrative leave during the investigation pending the outcome? Did the district administration conduct their own investigation? These are questions that need to be asked and answers provided.
I have consulted with teachers in other districts who were put on administrative leave for months while an investigation was done on them. Some of these involve minor infractions like the teacher in NH who was put on administrative leave for months because a student charged him with cultural insensitivity when he suggested an assignment on Tiananmen Square because she was of Asian descent.
Other teachers were interviewed, and it took almost the entire school year for them to complete his investigation. How are teachers investigated in SAU 16? Why was it reported that the teacher who may have violated a student’s free speech rights by wearing a Thin Blue Line Flag allowed to return to the classroom immediately?
These are the important questions parents need to ask in order to feel comfortable that their children are safe. It’s critical that parents stay engaged with the people that are elected to serve you on the school board, and those in charge of the school district. Speaking up and asking questions at school board meetings, in public, allows other parents and residents to support transparency where their child’s safety is a concern.