To the Editor: The recent flap over Nashua school board member Doris Hohensee continues a familiar pattern: the board does something shady ; Doris calls them on it and the board responds with personal attacks.
This time, the attack itself was shady: the chair issued an official letter of condemnation from the board, calling for Doris to resign. But this letter was written without legal authorization, either without a meeting, or after a secret meeting.
The attack on Hohensee, and a similar attack on Manchester school board member Rich Girard, are examples of ‘weaponizing student opinions’: Encourage a student to participate in a substantive policy discussion. In Manchester, it was about negotiating a teacher contract; in Nashua, banning JROTC air rifle practice on campus.
Wait for a Girard or a Hohensee to engage with the student’s public comments. Then spuriously accuse that person of “endangerment,” “privacy violations,” or whatever sounds most reprehensible.
When government officials make so much noise over a situation with so little substance, one wonders what they’re trying to deflect attention away from. Low proficiency scores, for example? Or disastrous “social and emotional learning” curricula?
Even though a disturbing number of Nashua students aren’t learning to read or write (49 percent are at proficiency), the board is teaching them an important lesson: When confronted with your mistakes, responding with personal attacks can help you avoid having to fix the problem .
The SDGA supports Doris Hohensee’s actions. We need more people like her.