Yesterday in the Union Leader, Rockingham Commissioner Kevin St. James of District 1 serving the towns of: Danville, East Kingston, Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, Kingston, New Castle, Newington, Newton, North Hampton, Plaistow, Portsmouth, Rye, Seabrook, South Hampton, and Stratham, has raised an issue with the New Hampshire Attorney General on allegations of electioneering by interim principal of Memorial Elementary School in Newton.
The full article can be found here: http://www.unionleader.com/education/School-takes-action-after-Newton-principal-endorses-candidates-in-newsletter-03132017.
Quoted from that article, Superintendent Brian Blake states:
“The principal’s letter contained information endorsing certain candidates in the upcoming election and encouraging voters to support warrant articles for the schools. Under NH law, school district employees are not allowed to endorse candidates for public office or encourage voters to vote in a certain way. I apologize for any confusion this may have caused and will take steps to ensure that it does not happen again,” Blake’s statement read, in part.
Recently there have been questions raised that similar behavior may be happening in Hampton Falls. We have reached out to Commissioner St. James to bring to his attention that the behavior of the interim Principal in Newton are similar to the Principals letter that was sent out last week by Principal Mark Deblois of Lincoln Akerman School.
The voters have a right to know that nothing improper has occurred by the public employees within the school and administration. We have a right to a fair election. We ask that we have full disclosure of these incidents to understand the particulars and to restore the trust that must exist between the school administration and the people of Hampton Falls.
Update: 3/13/2017 @ 3:36PM ET – Updated misquote. It wasn’t Commissioner St. James who made the quote but was Superintendent Brian Blake. The article has been amended to reflect inaccuracy.