by Ed Naile
Here is what we know now.
During the Hampstead School District Public Hearing on January 12, 2016, the Hampstead School Board showed what is believed to be a publicly funded infomercial presentation in support of Article 2 – $4.5 million Bond Issue/One Story Hampstead Central School Renovation and Construction Project/10-year Bond. The bond includes the cost of removing the modular classrooms.
Part of the presentation had a very serious suggestion (at 21:35 on the infomercial http://tinyurl.com/glze4by ) that students could be targets of a shooting while walking between modular rooms and the main buildings.
This was a blatant attempt to link school shootings in other states with the need for expensive new construction.
The infomercial made no mention that students already spend hours outside in the playground, a shameless attempt to link school shootings happening nationwide to the Hampstead School District if a new $4.5 million dollar bond for Central School was not passed.
The failure to point out that students are more exposed in other ways stood out like a sore thumb to Hampstead Budget Committee Chair, Jorge Mesa-Tejada. He is a former US Marine who has been on the Hampstead Budget Committee for 14 years, has 8 years of prior service in the School Board and knows the school buildings intimately, having participated in their construction over the years.
Jorge Mesa-Tejada laid out a scenario where more damage would be done at the rear of the school, while the students were in the playground during recess.
In isolation from other facts, that might seem out of place. But it was a perfect opportunity for construction bond promoters to cry foul and accuse Jorge of “promoting mass murder.”
It is a sad tradition of the new School Administrative Unit head, Earl Metzler, to try and silence, neutralize and/or remove all opposition to his agenda. He has developed a pattern during his short career here in NH.
Thus, without so much as contacting Jorge, Mr. Metzler began a series of events to discredit him and keep him off of school property by issuing a No Trespass Order.
We are at a loss to explain where that authority came from. Hampstead Policy KI, Visitors to the Schools, dated 02-22-05, is silent in that respect.
However, Timberlane Regional School District’s Policy KI, Visitors on School Grounds, dated 06-16-11, contains the following provision:
For purposes of this policy, “school property” means school buildings, District buildings not being used as a school, vehicles used for school purposes, any location during a school athletic and other school-sponsored event, and school grounds.
Additionally, the District reserves the right to issue “no trespass” letters to any person whose conduct violates this policy, acceptable standards of conduct, or creates a disruption to the school district’s educational purpose.
NOTE: Hampstead School District and Timberlane Regional School District constitute SAU #55. Both districts are independent of each other; they share Metzler as their Superintendent per RSA194-C.
It looks like Metzler conveniently used a policy from Timberlane Regional School District (printed above) to get Mr. Mesa-Tejada—that’s patently illegal!
Further, Timberlane’s Policy KI cites RSA 635:2 Criminal Trespass, as a Legal Reference; Hampstead’s Policy doesn’t have such reference.
It seems that Mr. Metzler’s response to any political opponent of his proposed construction bond is to use a policy—any policy designed for protection students—to protect and promote his pet projects.
We are currently awaiting the decision of the NH State Supreme Court in another Metzler fiasco. He used this same expert legal team, paid for by taxpayers, to try and prevent a sitting Timberlane school board member from obtaining an electronic copy of school budget data. Metzler’s “expert legal team could not answer simple questions of the Justices. It doesn’t look good for that Metzler personal agenda either.
It should also be noted that this same character, Mr. Metzler, reported WLMW 90.7 FM host Rich Girard to Plaistow Police as a person who might have sent him hate mail of some sort.
It is well known that I have no interest in talking to public officials outside of a public forum, though Metzler did send me an email once with an offer to talk. As with most thin skinned people, Metzler can not stand to be questioned. His position in the Hampstead School District and SAU #55 proves he is in over his head. Lashing out at critics and political opponents at taxpayer expense is shameless.