Hooksett school board members barred from teacher contact
HOOKSETT — During a contentious meeting Tuesday, the school board narrowly approved changes to policies that would limit members' ability to call special meetings and forbid them from having official contact with the school district's teachers.
However, the changes might not be official as board member David Pearl, who voted against making the policy changes, said any changes would require two read-throughs, a point that School Board Chairman Trisha Korkosz said she would research.
"I think we are disrespecting the work of previous boards who put a lot of thought into making these policies, and we are just steam-rolling it in one night," board member John Lyscars said.
The three changes to the policy, which all passed 3-2 with Pearl and Lyscars voting against, alter the rules for calling a special meeting, making it necessary to have a simple majority and a quorum.
The board also voted to establish a policy that limits communication between board members and district teachers regarding district business by funneling all contact through Superintendent Charles Littlefield.
In addition, the board voted to make it a requirement that all meeting agendas be finalized during the previous meeting.
Pearl added that with the change to the policy, a special meeting that was scheduled for Wednesday by him and Lyscars was effectively canceled. Pearl said the purpose of the canceled special meeting was to discuss what he viewed as the negative behavior currently permeating the board, particularly the behavior of Korkosz. Korkosz said the meeting was specifically designed to discuss only her behavior and the behavior of the superintendent, ignoring the behaviors of Pearl and Lyscars on social media.
"This changes the ability for the two minority members of the board to be heard, and if that is going on then this is the wrong path to go down," Pearl said. "You are just trying to avoid the reality of dealing with this board's problems, and this is another way to stifle that."
Calling the board dysfunctional, Pearl said he and Lyscars tried to schedule seven separate meetings to discuss board behavior but could not establish a quorum for any of them.