To the editor, the public, and to SAU 29:
Does “local control” of schools actually mean anything at all?
If so, I urge fellow SAU 29 taxpayers to insist that our school board spend not a single penny more on defending its decision to punish teachers who act to keep our children safe; and to fire administrators who counsel pursuing that ridiculous defense.
You recall the Parkland school shooting. It came out and is undisputed that everyone at the school knew the shooter was violent and likely to do what he did. The school suspended him briefly but did next to nothing else. Everyone was appalled that the school “did nothing.”
Well we obviously have violent kids in our district, too. Public documents show that 53 SAU 29 teachers were injured in 2017, 103 in 2018 and there were 92 injuries in the first six months of 2019 alone. Teachers have suffered broken bones, lacerations and concussions, and students have brought ammo and are making credible threats at school.
Unlike at Parkland, we have some brave teachers who are trying to do something positive about the situation.
And what does the district representing you and me do? It punishes those teachers. Then, when they speak out about that, SAU 29 doubles down to defend itself through its lawyers.
Your “education” tax dollars at work, folks.
Can we local taxpayers assert control and tell the district to desist in its ridiculous defense of its indefensible position? (And yes, I am a lawyer and understand the district works within the framework of federal law.)
I will be voting against every single board member who continues to try to punish teachers for trying to keep themselves and our students safe.
This is just the tip of the iceberg, voters. If we do nothing and another Parkland happens here, it won’t be just the schools’ fault. It will be ours, for utterly failing to care one fig about supporting teachers who are actually getting in trouble for trying to keep our kids safe.
There is a school board meeting scheduled for Oct. 8 at 6:30 at Keene High.
SANDRA VAN de KAUTER
38 Felt Road