HOOKSETT — Along with voting to approve a new 10-year sending contract with Pinkerton Academy, the Hooksett School Board also took the unusual step Tuesday night of voting 3-2 to remove the district email address of board member John Lyscars for policy violations.
"He is putting our district in jeopardy. He is threatening people with a Hooksett email account, sending correspondence without the will of the school board," said board Chairman Trisha Korkosz, who also said many people who receive an email from Lyscars, who is also the board's clerk, assume it has been authorized by the school board. "Recently he has sent emails to the Manchester Mayor Ted Gastas, the Pinkerton Board of Trustees, Pinkerton Headmaster Mary Anderson, our attorneys and school district staff, and in each of those emails, I believe he is misrepresenting Hooksett School Board positions."
For his part, Lyscars said that when he woke up Wednesday morning he had to pinch himself to make sure he wasn't dreaming.
"As a U.S. Air Force vet, I had to pinch myself to make sure I am in America, not the Soviet Union or a Third World country. I am an elected member of the board, and they censored me. They have prevented me from conducting business with my constituents," Lyscars said.
Lyscars was adamant that he believes his behavior in recent emails did not merit his email account being taken away.
Board member David Pearl, who voted against removing the email account, said he doesn't necessarily agree with Lyscars' actions, but doesn't see how the board could take away the account.
"I don't support many of things that Mr. Lyscars has put in those emails, but I don't think this will be effective; he can have another email address. It comes down to whether he can sign as a school board member, which he can. Nothing in our policy says that he can't. It is irrelevant what email address he uses. I understand the board's concerns on etiquette, I understand those, but I don't think the board accomplished what they wanted to do," Pearl said. Pearl added that unlike a district email account, Lyscars private email account is immune to Right to Know requests.
Korkosz said Lyscars' behavior during meetings has deteriorated as well.
At Tuesday night's board meeting, Lyscars held up a pink winking smiley face at residents who complained about his behavior during the public comment portion of the meeting. When asked by a resident what it meant, Lyscars said it was a wink and a smile for residents who believe they can convince others that he is crazy. Lyscars also repeatedly shouted that he must speak on behalf of the children of Hooksett as the board voted on the Pinkerton agreement.
"I was made nervous by his behavior," Korkosz said. "There were children in the audience, and you should have seen the looks on their faces (as they reacted to Lyscars). And I found (the pink smiley face sign) to be very offensive to the audience, not appropriate behavior for a school board member. I understand it can be hard to sit and be criticized, but you have to do it; it's part of the job."
Lyscars said he was reacting to what he perceived as attempts to bully him. "You should know this about me, when I am attacked, I will fight back, and politically I think people know they can take advantage of that," Lyscars said.