A Manchester school board member is in hot water because he reacted to an editorial in the Central High student newspaper, The Little Green, by emailing the student writer.
It’s hard to tell just what is upsetting Rich Girard’s critics (besides the fact that he leans conservative politically).
He chairs the board’s teacher negotiations team. He pointed out to the young editor some facts that she may have not considered when writing her piece favoring the teachers’ side.
Mayor Joyce Craig and Ward 2 school board member David Scannell (who happens to be a teacher) found it inappropriate and creepy for Girard to be emailing the 18-year-old. The mayor said the young woman “may not feel comfortable’’ with Girard contacting her.
Scannell said the “creep part’’ was not that Girard addressed the subject but that he used the school district email system to obtain the student’s email address. (Would a letter, written in cursive and sent via U.S. mail to the student at the newspaper’s office, been OK?)
It must have been awkward for Craig and Scannell when school Superintendent Dr. Bolgen Vargas pointed out that “everyone (within the school system) has access to each other’s emails. The students are part of that.’’
Meanwhile, the student and her parents have a lawyer, who apparently missed the law school class on free speech and the First Amendment.
If Girard doesn’t “immediately stop discussing’’ the student editor on public TV or at any school board meeting, wrote Karen Hewes, a request for “injunctive relief’’ will soon follow.
There are enough “teachable moments’’ here to provide a month’s worth of curriculum.