Hooksett resident not happy with ruling by school board
HOOKSETT — A local resident is not satisfied with handling of complaint he has against the school superintendent.
The complaint stems from a confrontation at the conclusion of a November meeting, when Charles Littlefield, Hooksett superintendent of schools, allegedly threatened to physically assault a resident.
Littlefield, according to Jason Hyde, told him: “You’re lucky I don’t come across the table and rip your (expletive) esophagus out.”
Hyde said he filed a police report on Nov. 19, the evening of the alleged confrontation, and then submitted a formal complaint with the SAU 15 School Board, which addressed the issue at its regularly-scheduled meeting Wednesday night.
After accepting public comment — including additional input from Hyde — the school board entered into non-public session for more than 90 minutes while Hyde waited.
When board members reemerged and delivered their response, Hyde said he was left unsatisfied.
Before anything else was said, a motion was made to seal the minutes of the non-public session indefinitely. The motion was seconded and passed unanimously.
School Board Chairman Chris Trickett then explained that Littlefield was instructed on his behavior and then referred Hyde to Hooksett School District policy, which instructs Hyde to file future complaints through Littlefield, the subject of the complaint.
“It’s hard to make much of a comment at all because I don’t know exactly what they did. I don’t know what was said. I don’t know what was discussed,” said Hyde. “I know that they did not ask me to come into the room, but it looked like the superintendent went into the room a couple times. They referred me to policy ..., which I just read and find it to be very vague, so it’s hard to say.”
Hooksett School District Policy states, in part: “Any complaint presented to the Board about school personnel, employees, students or administration, will be referred back to the Superintendent. The Board will not hear or review complaints until such complaints have first been brought forth through the appropriate and applicable administrative procedures and the Superintendent or his/her designee has has a reasonable opportunity to seek to resolve the complaint.”
Hyde said he did not get the answers he was seeking.
“Basically, I’m left with nothing. Until someone decides to speak or until they decide to unseal those minutes, I’m not left with much satisfaction one way or the other,” said Hyde. “I’m willing to take anything they can give me, but they didn’t give me anything.”
Littlefield, who acknowledges a confrontation took place, told the New Hampshire Union Leader he wouldn’t get into specifics. Instead, he said he’d like to focus on the resolution.
“Jason made a complaint to the board and I indicated to the board my recollection of the situation,” said Littlefield. “The board, in non-public session, provided me with directive and I consider the matter closed.
“I’ve known Jason for eight or nine years, and that’s the policy we have in place, and I would be hopeful Jason and I can work things out in the future,” he added.
Hyde said he’d be content with a public apology and a handshake, but admitted he hasn’t decided if he’ll continue to pursue the matter.
Littlefield, who received a formal review later in Wednesday’s meeting, said the analysis of his performance was mostly positive, though he acknowledged he still has room to grow.
“It’s always important to reflect and to analyze and to sort of take those things you do well and continue to do them well and also to strive for continuous improvement in other areas he said. “I’ll strive for perfection. I doubt I’ll ever get there, but that won’t stop me from trying.