After attending both school board meetings in SAU16 this week, one thing is obvious; there is a toxic culture within the walls of this school district. A culture that needs change immediately.
Parents have described their child’s civil rights violations which I don’t think many have understood, was happening. The horrendous act at the Senior Prom woke many people up to the way these students and parents have been treated. By not checking with parents on their child’s vaccine status before branding them with a marker, this erupted into a national scandal.
Branding and exposing personal health information is not acceptable. But what has been revealed since then has proven to be a toxic culture within SAU16 and, now parents are demanding the resignation of Dr. David Ryan, Superintendent.
Those familiar with students having to show their papers (vaccine status) to enter the prom may not be aware of some of the other violations that have and could lead to lawsuits. You don’t get to violate students’ civil rights for any reason, including in the name of inclusion, diversity, and equity.
I wrote about the student who was told to remove the Thin Blue Line Flag by his teacher a short time ago. Other students were wearing pride flags and the American flag too. That will go to mediation, and the taxpayers will most likely pick up the tab. Those parents are right to file a formal complaint and seek compensation when their child was denied his 1st amendment free speech rights.
At Tuesday’s school board meeting, another father spoke up about how his son was treated in his class when he shared his pro-life views during a discussion on abortion. (1:21:00) The message to the student was, do not speak, do not share your religious views. This is another glaring example of a teacher denying the student their free speech rights. I hope that this parent will also seek compensation.
Right after that father spoke, another resident brought up (1:24:30) the new attempt to violate your child’s civil rights through the district’s Critical Race Theory agenda. He has supplied many of us with the book that will be assigned to students next year and includes a highly charged political agenda. I will be reporting on that book soon.
He cites the laws that will be in violation when they assign your child this book and push a racist ideology on your child. Not only does this violate the Civil Rights Act, but it is also a violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution that says that no State shall “deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
The “central purpose” of the Equal Protection Clause “is to prevent the States from purposefully discriminating between individuals based on race.” (1). In addition to these laws, the New Hampshire Constitution can be cited, and parents can also file a complaint with the New Hampshire Department of Education based on the Educator Code of Ethics and Conduct.
Finally, this district issued a mental health assessment on children without parental knowledge or consent per the Right to Know Request I filed in August of 2020. The maker of the DESSA confirmed it was a mental health assessment. Dr. Gary Thompson, a Ph.D. level Child Psychologist in Utah, uses the DESSA in his practice, Early Life Child Psychology & Education Center, Inc. But it’s important to know that licensed Child Psychologists must receive parental permission first. Otherwise, they can lose their license to practice.
Licensed Child Psychologists must follow a code of ethics that includes informed consent by parents or guardians before they administer the assessment. Has anyone been held accountable for violating the ethics of assessing mental health in SAU16? Not only is this a violation of ethical guidelines, but it’s also a violation of Federal Law. (ESSA Section 4001:General Provisions (a) Parental Consent.)
It is outrageous that this vendor now has access to your child’s mental health status, and you may not know.
With all of this happening in SAU16, it might be a good time for an attorney to step up and look at all of this on behalf of the parents who reside in SAU16. This kind of behavior and disregard for the most basic human rights has led parents to a boiling point.
This district was once the envy of parents across the state and even outside New Hampshire. People wanted their kids to attend this school and were proud to say they lived here. Today, it’s become something completely different, and now multiple residents and parents are calling for the resignation of Dr. David Ryan and others to represent them on the School Board.
New leadership is needed to unify this once admired community and school system. But, unfortunately, that will not happen with this kind of leadership. If after all of this, Dr. Ryan refuses to resign, because that would be a humble act; the school board can buy out his contract and hire someone who will focus on your children’s academic needs, leave the parenting to you, and show the kind leadership these parents are looking for and deserve.
(1) Montana Attorney General’s opinion on anti-racism or Critical Race theory