Another lawsuit was filed against SAU16/Exeter’s superintendent David Ryan. So far I’ve counted four lawsuits in the last few months. The first involved a teacher who removed a student from class when he wore a Thin Blue Line Flag during a day when students could wear flags that represented their views.
By suppressing one student’s viewpoint, the parents sued the district for violating his free speech rights.
The next lawsuit came from parents who want to make the decision on whether their children should wear a mask to school. These parents didn’t want to force their views on other parents and force every child to go maskless; they simply wanted to be the ones to make this decision for their children.
Recently a former student assistant school counselor filed a lawsuit after being terminated and replaced by a younger counselor. The lawsuit alleges age discrimination, and if successful, will award the plaintiff a million dollars in damages. So much for advancing diversity and inclusion!!
This latest lawsuit involves the refusal of SAU16’s Superintendent to provide the information requested through a 91-a Right to Know Request.
Does this also sound familiar to you? It sounds familiar to me. A few years ago I filed a 91-a Right to Know Request with SAU16 and was provided only some of the information requested. I think we may be starting to see a pattern here.
Here is an article posted from June 2020 where I requested to see information on Social and Emotional Learning (SEL). Here is the actual 91-a RTK request filed asking to see the psychological evaluations used in the district.
According to federal law in the Every Student Succeeds Act, school administrators must have informed consent from parents prior to assessing or treating a student’s mental health. No parental consent form was produced showing that consent was provided prior to students having their mental health assessed using the DESSA program.
Not only did it appear that district administrators were ignoring federal law, but the lack of transparency and information also made it look like they wanted to keep as much information from the public as possible.
Fast forward to 2021 and we are back to what appears to be another attempt to keep information away from the public.
What is going on in SAU16 under David Ryan’s leadership? The community is deeply divided over the issue of Critical Race Theory in the schools. When a member of the community filed a 91-a to review all of the materials and documentation, that information was not provided after numerous attempts.
A once united and thriving education community has become extremely divided under the leadership of Superintendent David Ryan.
Just a few years ago the middle school ranked 13th in New Hampshire, recent reports show that this standing has withered down to 38.
Parents know that their once desirable school district has become one that parents are fleeing. They know that this is no longer a district attracting families to the community. The enrollment is dropping like a house of cards, and I’m hearing from many parents who’ve removed their children from what they see as a district that now offers poor quality education for their children.
The parent community has begun to question the validity of educational exercises, and the “rigor” of academics. But their concerns have been disregarded by a school board that has failed to hold anyone accountable. At what point will they step in and stop this downward spiral?
Formal Right to Know Requests have been willfully disregarded and ignored, and instead, are directed towards the ever-changing SAU16 website. Information that should be easily accessible in just “2 clicks” is continually moved and buried, if they appear at all.
Business owners searching for qualified candidates to fill positions are placed in the unfortunate position of having to “mold” graduates with insufficient skills and knowledge. Is this now the excellence that they are forced to accept?
Parents are told that they need a total overhaul to erase their values for some new radical worldview that they never asked for. The focus away from academic excellence and achievement was not lost on parents who saw their once desirable school district tank in school rankings.
Now they are being told, they don’t deserve to see the information and materials that they have requested. This information should be transparent for the entire community to review. The lack of transparency gives the impression that there is a nefarious reason to keep information hidden from the public.
Is a lawsuit required to get a response from the SAU 16 administration who earn some of the top salaries in the state?
Where’s the accountability? Why do the school board members continue to allow this to happen?
There have been numerous calls for the resignation of Superintendent David Ryan at public school board meetings. Not only are these parents and residents wanting new leadership, they are having to pay a hefty price tag out of their property taxes to cover the legal expenses and court settlements.
By now, most school boards would have bought out their Superintendent’s contract. I watched this happen in districts many times before. Recently Bedford’s parents demanded accountability from their former Superintendent when he gave the green light to a school counselor to appear at a hearing in favor of a former counselor who was charged with sexual assault against a student.
It took one incident like that for parents to demand action.
The board members listened and after a short time, bought out the Superintendent’s contract. Since that time, they hired a new Superintendent by promoting from within. This allowed them to hire a Superintendent they knew well who worked towards repairing the damage to the community.
The list of issues in SAU16 is long. Where Bedford had one incident that caused an uprising among parents, SAU16 has a long list of issues that have erupted into a loss of confidence in the leadership. At what point do you cut ties, and look for a leader who unifies and prioritizes academic excellence?
In this latest lawsuit, the plaintiff alleges: “…Brandano noted that the Respondents failed to provide the contract and invoices from an entity “2revolutions”4 in response to Request Nos. 6 and 7. According to the documents provided, 2revolutions held” ABAR Sessions” (Anti-Bias Anti-Racist) with school representatives.”
Let’s be honest here, those anti-bias/anti-racist sessions are a form of discrimination if you review the information from 2Revolutions where they label parents and teachers as white supremacists. This kind of discriminatory professional development aimed at teachers would violate the new anti-discriminatory state statute and the federal civil rights act.
Is that why this information is not be shared after multiple requests by the plaintiff? I would suggest scrolling through the complaint and read the list of documents that have not been provided to the plaintiff–it’s an eye-opener.
Line 47 states, “47. Respondents have intentionally withheld responsive records.”
Intentionally withheld responsive records tell the judge that this was a purposeful act. This was not a mistake or a misunderstanding, but an intentional act of withholding the records that were requested. Having been in the position of requesting information in the past, and never receiving the information I requested, at what point will the school board members, led by Helen Joyce, rectify this catastrophe?
Why won’t this board do what so many other boards have done and fix their problems?