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Timberlane official resigns, cites superintendent's 'smear' campaign against school board candidate

By JASON SCHREIBER
Union Leader Correspondent

February 09. 2018 2:41PM




Maxann Dobson, a candidate for Timberlane Regional School Board, is facing a complaint about a message she posted on Facebook more than 10 months ago. (Courtesy)

PLAISTOW — Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green has resigned in support of a board candidate whose access to school property was restricted because of an investigation into a 10-month-old Facebook post.

Green, an outspoken board member from Sandown who wasn’t afraid to challenge the board on budget and Right-to-Know issues in public and in court, resigned after the board failed to take action to remove the restrictions placed on Maxann Dobson.

“Maxann Dobson’s restricted access to Timberlane schools is part of a toxic pattern of character smears and political interference by the superintendent that the board refuses to address,” Green said in a statement issued Friday.

Dobson, a Plaistow resident, announced her candidacy last week, but days later was notified by the administration that she was being investigated for making a “public threat” to a student.

Dobson said the investigation relates to a Facebook post she wrote in April 2017 out of frustration over bullying issues involving her daughter. In the post, she referred to an unnamed student as a “little s—t” who said her daughter “looks like an old lady.” She also mentioned in the post that she would be chaperoning a field trip the next day and that “karma’s a b—h.”

Dobson insists that the post was never meant to be a threat and that it was handled by the principal at the time.

 

Timberlane Regional School District Superintendent Earl Metzler. (Jason Schreiber)

Superintendent Dr. Earl Metzler said he learned about the post for the first time late last week after parents complained, which prompted a new investigation by the administration.

In an interview Friday, Metzler said, “I’d like to thank Ms. Green for her service. Unfortunately, her inability to work with others brought her to the place of frustration, which caused her resignation. We wish her well.”

Dobson said she believes the investigation is politically motivated because it was launched after she announced plans to run for office. Metzler has said the complaints must be investigated.

In the meantime, some restrictions were placed on Dobson’s access to school property during the investigation, although she is allowed to pick up and drop off her daughter and can attend school events with her.

During Thursday’s meeting, Green made a motion to lift the restrictions and end the investigation, but it failed by a vote of 7-2.

Green lashed out at Metzler and the board.

Timberlane Regional School Board member Donna Green has resigned in support of a board candidate whose access to school property was restricted because of an investigation into a 10-month-old Facebook post.

“I am resigning effective immediately because the board will not demand the revocation of the no-trespass order against Mrs. Dobson. When you don’t stand up to a bully, you fear a dictator and that is that situation with the Timberlane board right now,” she said in her statement.

Green said she was also “subject to a groundless criminal complaint and a no trespass” when she was first elected to the board.

Hampstead resident Jorge Mesa-Tejada also faced a no-trespass order in 2016 while serving as chairman of the Hampstead Budget Committee after he was criticized for describing how a mass shooting could be carried out at Hampstead Central School while discussing security issues at a meeting.

The Timberlane and Hampstead districts are both part of School Administrative Unit 55.

“Even if Dr. Metzler should lift the no trespass and close the so-called investigation tomorrow, the fact that the board refused to assert its authority in this situation is a disgrace and a warning for all good people to stay far away from Timberlane public office,” Green said.

jschreiber@newstote.com


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