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Manchester's way: Ignoring school board, public again


New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association basketball coaches and athletic directors have taken the unusual step of voting not to have their teams play Pembroke Academy's basketball team next season. Some Pembroke players have been ruled ineligible based on what has been widely perceived to have been "recruiting" of promising athletes to come play at Pembroke.

This is an extraordinary move, but the schools and coaches clearly think the punishment is in order.

What is more extraordinary is that Manchester's School District, ignoring the position of its own coaches, has decided that Memorial and Central teams will play Pembroke.

In what is becoming an unfortunate routine, the district doesn't explain its decision, either to the public or even to the school coaches.

District Athletic Director Chris Donovan did not consult with the school board, the school athletic coordinators, or the coaches. Apparently at the direction of Superintendent Debra Livingstone and her assistant, David Ryan, Donovan decided Manchester will play.

"I've been coaching at Central for 24 years, and Jack (Quirk) has been at Memorial longer than I," Central coach Dave Wheeler told the Union Leader. "It would have been nice if someone could have called us. It would be nice for me to know why did we decide to play a school which isn't following the rules."

It would be nice, yes. But the Livingston regime, in matters big and small, continues to treat the elected school board and the public it supposedly serves as if they were little children unworthy of explanations or information. How long will the school board, which includes Mayor Ted Gatsas, put up with this?

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