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Man says he was just trolling when he commented on online memo regarding Londonderry school flag

Union Leader Correspondent

September 20. 2017 9:49PM

LONDONDERRY — A former New Hampshire man said he was just trolling after posting that he hoped “armed American patriots” would descend on the Londonderry schools and “occupy the buildings” over a misunderstanding of a pep rally memo with instructions not to use the American flag.

The memo, which sparked outrage online this week, was poorly-worded, according to the school district, and was intended to address proper flag etiquette during the upcoming Londonderry High School event, not to outright ban display of the flag.

Kevin Kervick made comments about the incident on the conservative media site, posting underneath an article about the pep rally saying a “Cultural civil war is here” and “The Left is in full mental breakdown — full revolt.”

Kervick also included a sentence stating, “Hopefully armed American patriots descend on the district and occupy the buildings until this policy is reversed. Repeat everywhere.”

The posts have since been deleted.

A clinician and former candidate for state representative in Nashua, Kervick said as the incident was originally presented to him, it seemed like another case of a social justice educator prioritizing sensitivity over patriotism. His post, he said, was designed to get a reaction and called trolling a blunt symbolism.

“Hopefully, it will suffice to say that we are living in stressful times, in a polarized nation in which people are experiencing lots of emotions. In my opinion, the political left needs to chill,” he said in an email. “I would love a civil society in which people with different perspectives could debate each other without name calling and efforts to harm the other. Perhaps something like that could happen as a result of this flap, but I doubt it because people would rather demonize the other. It is quite sad.”

Scott Laliberte, superintendent of the Londonderry School District, said Tuesday his office contacted the town’s police department after hearing of the post.

Detective Christopher Olson of the Londonderry Police Department said they were alerted but decided to let the school district handle the situation with a clarifying respond.

Laliberte said he understands the emotions that run with such a hot-button issue and acknowledged the language in the memo was vague. There were no other threats, and Laliberte said every individual who contacted him about it ended the conversation satisfied with his answers.

While the memo had instructions to not wear, carry or present the American flag, the intention was to ensure that students use the flag in a manner consistent with the American Legion Flag Code.

“We had kids in years past who would wear the flag around their shoulders like a cape; they’d wave it and then they’d be done and put it on the floor,” Laliberte said on Monday. “We have some staff members who are veterans and they are offended by it, and they called the kids on it.”

Kervick released a video Wednesday looking to further clarify his position, saying it is great the superintendent clarified the issue after the public backlash it created.

“Can you blame conservatives for being reactive? These incidents are literally occurring daily at high schools; colleges, and community places all over this country,” he wrote in the email. “This is obviously an agenda of the Progressive Left, to re-make this country by removing our history. A flag is a meaningful cultural symbol as are our national heroes. Why would the majority of people in the country not protest when other groups, with help from cultural elites, try to denigrate our cultural symbols?”

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