Members of the Manchester Police Department’s Juvenile Unit and Patrol Division plan to raise money on behalf of Child and Family Services of New Hampshire in an effort to increase awareness of teen homelessness. Three detectives, Shannon Jackson, Justin Breton and Ferdinand Cruz and Patrol Officer Andre Smith will spend a night outdoors in Stanton Park. The event is scheduled for March 20th and all four officers will sleep in tents to advocate on behalf of the many homeless teenagers who reside in greater Manchester. If anyone is willing to assist or pledge a donation for this worthwhile cause, please email c f s n h dot org for additional information.
The officers are participating in what is known as The SleepOut, which is a broader initiative to raise awareness of the plight of homeless youth. The event engages adult leaders and advocates who will experience one night on the cold ground in solidarity with homeless and at-risk youth, and will raise funds for services that transform lives. We hope to have more on this effort in the not to distant future.
The Goffstown School District announced the permanent appointment of New Boston resident Dr. Michael McMurray as Dean of Students at Mountain View Middle School. McMurray was installed in the position on an interim basis last September. Apparently, they like the work he’s doing over there. McMurray now officially joins Principal Wendy Hastings, Assistant Principal Joe Lane, Curriculum Coordinator Nicole Doherty and Special Education Facilitator Kurt Gergler as part of the leadership team at Mountain View. Superintendent Brian Balke said he quote “couldn’t be more pleased with the work of the Mountain View Administrative Team this school year; the school climate is positive and focused on kids. It is great for the school that Dr. McMurray will be staying on…we are very glad to have him as part of our school moving forward.” I think it’s safe to say that that school has come a long way since we exposed the utter chaos that reigned at that school under a previous administration.
News from our own backyard continues after this:
Well, the tumult in Timberlane continues as Superintendent Earl Metzler stuck his thumb in the eyes of Sandown voters who overwhelmingly approved a Citizen’s Petition Warrant Article to study the town’s withdrawal from the school district. In a notice posted to Facebook, of all places, Metzler’s Executive Secretary Catherine Belcher, who I’m convinced runs the place, posted the following in Metzler’s name Quote “In speaking with district counsel, Dr. Metzler wanted to clarify a few items as it relates to the town of Sandown’s vote to conduct a withdrawal study under the provisions of RSA 1 9 5 : 2 5. First, the study itself and all of its responsibilities belong to the town of Sandown. It will be up to the town to establish a committee and conduct the actual study.. Second, any costs associated with the study shall be borne by the town of Sandown as this is a town endeavor and no funds were appropriated in the article. Third, although the town cannot compel board members from the other towns to serve on the committee, it is in the best interest of the district for them to do so as it allows the other towns to have input in the study.” End quote. They link to the statute, which we have also done from this news read.
So, what does the statute say? The pertinent part reads as follows: Quote: “…the school board of a cooperative school district may undertake a study of the feasibility and suitability of the withdrawal of one or more member districts from the cooperative district. A similar study shall be undertaken if, after the tenth anniversary of the date of operating responsibility, a pre-existing district shall, by a majority vote on a warrant article at a regular or special town meeting, direct the school board to conduct such a study.” End quote. Not sure how Metzler or the legal counsel he allegedly spoke to lays this on Sandown given the law says the board has to conduct the study.
There was lots of action on education and Right to Know legislation in the New Hampshire House of Representatives yesterday. On the Right to Know front, the house killed bills that would have established a Right to Know Grievance Commission to hear complaints brought by citizens against public bodies that refused to comply with information requests. It also defeated a bill that would have allowed public meetings to occur with a majority of members participating by telephone. It approved a bill clarifying how votes to seal non public minutes must be taken and one that makes it a-okay for public boards to enter non-meeting meeting status to discuss legal matters without an attorney being present. That bill needs to die. Anyway, bills that will have to be decided today include House Bill 6 4 6, which would allow public bodies to pre-charge those who request information for the labor they estimate will be needed before the considering the request.
On the education front, the bill that clarified that local school districts do not have to adopt Common Core education standards passed, with sponsor Rick Ladd, Republican from Haverhill, saying it will allow local school boards to adopt their own standards that meet or exceed the state’s adopted standards without approval from the state board of education. The House also approved Manchester Ward Nine State Representative Victoria Sullivan’s bill which requires school districts to provide parents with a two-week notice if a school is going to teach material involving human sexuality. The bill requires the material to be available for parental review. And, the bill which would enshrine a parent’s the rights to remove their child from a standardized test, questionnaires or surveys also passed.
A final note from Concord, Griffin’s Law, the fetal homicide bill State Rep. Leon Rideout, Republican from Lancaster, spoke with us about on Monday passed the house on a roll call vote of 2 0 8 to 1 5 5. We’ve linked to the roll call.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is next!