Hooksett school board members clash over harassment claim
At last July’s School Board meeting, Argo accused Pearl of harassing school administrators with repetitive emails that posed the same questions over and over. The discussion led the board to create a new policy that prohibited School Board members from emailing school administrators. That policy was rescinded in August, after board members acknowledged it was impractical.
But Pearl has since pressed Argo to retract his statement about harassment. He presented 32 emails sent since his election to the School Board, which he retrieved under the Right to Know law.
Most of the emails in the pile were copies of eight different messages. One email requested technical information in regard to Hooksett’s Bring Your Own Device policy, which lets students use personal laptops, smart phones and other electronic devices in classrooms. Another message asked for instructions on how to set up an email account, while another included a New York Times article about education and technology that Pearl wanted to share with fellow board member Trisha Korkosz.
Pearl said that the charge of harassment is a threat to his reputation. He asked Argo to either point out parts of the emails that constitute harassment or retract his statement.
“There were a lot more than 32 emails. It wasn’t the content, it was the quantity,” said Argo, who added that when school administrators receive constant and repetitive emails, their time is wasted.
When Argo refused to retract his statement about harassment, Pearl called for his resignation as chairman of the School Board, a request that drew applause from some parents who attended the meeting.
“Step down so that we can have someone lead this board who has integrity,” said Pearl.
Argo refused to respond and instead moved on to the next item on the board’s agenda.
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