It started with students yelling profanities in the classroom and ended up a cover-up and subsequent bullying by the superintendent in a New Hampshire school.
During an anti-bullying exercise held at Hallsville Elementary School in Manchester, N.H., children ended up proclaiming vulgar profanities in the classroom. It angered a set of parents so much that they pulled their children from the school. Meetings were planned, officials were called, and a petition is still being signed to encourage some consequences.
But it was what happened next that provided the shocker. Cover-Up!
Superintendent Debra Livingston supposedly interviewed students and wrote down some positive statements that some of them had made.
She showed up at a meeting alongside a small brigade of Teacher’s Union Reps, the Principle, the Teacher, a board member and the parents.
They opened the meeting with a blatant lie.
As parent Kieth Katsikas states in his record from the audio tape of the evening:
“Superintendent Livingston and Principal Michaud both were adamant that no vulgarity took place in the classroom. When I brought up the fact that vulgar means, by definition (according to Webster’s Dictionary):
“not having or showing good manners, good taste, or politeness
relating to the common people or the speech of common people”
The superintendent responded with, “Well … we have a difference of opinion.””
They denied anything happened. They lied..they blatantly lied.
As the meeting went on, the official version of events unraveled quickly and a blatant cover-up was exposed. You can hear the full audio of the meeting at Girard at Large.
As the meeting turned to Laurie Evans, the actual teacher of the bullying lesson, as she gave her explanation of the lesson, Keith’s son had some questions”
“Yeah, but there was swearing. Why didn’t you stop them from saying a swear?”
“I don’t recall swearing,” she said.
“Yeah,” my son confirmed. “Someone said, You Gay H.O.R.E (whore). That’s a swear. Why didn’t you stop that?”
“Hmmm… that’s a good point,” she said.
“And some people also said the “F” word and the “D” (might have said “B”) word. Some people have said the full words of those.”
“You know, that’s a good point,” she said again.
So then, after pressured, they admitted what they denied at the beginning of the meeting.
By the end of the meeting, it was very clear that Superintendent Livingston had tried hard to sweep the whole thing under the rug. But her actions after the meeting were equally shocking.
First, as the Katsikas‘ had decided to home-school, the superintendent voluntarily sent them a copy of the state homeschooling requirements, dated 2007. Now either it was a clerical error, or was a purposeful act, but the laws in New Hampshire have changed significantly since then.
The copy she sent requires parents that home-school to report certain items to the superintendent. This is no longer the case and has not been the case for over 5 years.
Then, in blatant cover-up style, Superintendent Livingston threatened Parent Keith Katsikas and radio host Richard Girard that they wanted the recording of the original meeting taken down, with the threat of legal action!
Richard Girard’s response? “If you think I’m going to take it down, the whole thing down, that ain’t even California dreamin’!”
Of course they want the whole thing taken down. It proves an attempt to cover-up the whole thing up. It proves that Superintendent Livingston lied.
Keith showed up at the school board meeting Monday, requesting an independent investigation into the matter by the committee be done so that a reasonable decision in the case could be made. He was basically ignored, then berated by two teachers because for telling them how to do their job.
When are teachers going to get it? These are NOT their children. These are OUR children. We entrust them with OUR children! When the schools break that trust, the parents have all the right in the world to question what goes on in the classroom. How dare the teachers take this attitude?
So we come to the call for action. Time to make phone calls, time to send emails. Be kind and courteous, but demand that something be done and make your opinion known that this whole situation, from the vulgarities in the classroom, to the cover-up, to the bullying by the school district, are totally unacceptable.
Chairman of the School Board, Mayor Ted Gatsas
(603) 624-6500 (603) 668-1233
Contact the New Hampshire Education Commissioner Barry at [email protected] or (603) 271-3144
Contact State Senator Donna Soucy (603) 271-3207 [email protected]