GILFORD, NH – A New Hampshire citizen has learned that the Gilford, New Hampshire school district has been in violation of the State’s wiretapping law by unlawfully audio recording students on school buses without posting the requisite notification within the bus. Gilford School District and their partner First Student of Merrimack, transport hundreds of students each day to and from school.
Parents of Gilford students who were audio recorded, contacted Josh Youssef with their concern that the school had been illegally wiretapping their children and that no notice was posted in the buses. Youssef then submitted a document request under New Hampshire’s “right to know” law, RSA 91-a requesting proof that the district has been in full compliance.
“I received yet another email today from a parent of Gilford students who indicated that there were suddenly signs alerting that the bus was being audio and video recorded. The email stated that the signs were not present on the prior school day. There were pictures taken before the signs were posted, and pictures taken on the day the signs were posted in the buses. I can only surmise that the school district, in a knee-jerk reaction, felt an emergent need to come into compliance with the wiretapping law. Ironically, the posting of the wiretap notification constitutes a de facto admission of prior noncompliance.”
Under New Hampshire law, in order to lawfully audio record a conversation, all parties to the conversation must grant their consent or be duly notified.
Gerard Beloin of New Boston, New Hampshire had been prosecuted over a period of ten years for alleged illegal wiretapping under the same law that the Gilford School District has been violating for years. If convicted, Beloin could have faced years in prison. Individuals in New Hampshire are commonly prosecuted and face lengthy prison sentences under the same statute.
An admission of wiretapping by the bus operator can be seen at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QsKNdRYSk_M
Submitted by Billy Baer of Gilford
Click here for the supporting documents provided with the release.
UPDATE From Billy Baer as of 2/12/15