Bullying At Alton Central School (ACS), N.H.: A Note Re. Lynda Whitehouse’s Letter.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.


by Anura Guruge

Related posts:
++++ Search on ‘bullying’ for ALL the ‘bullying at ACS’ posts >>>>

>> Bullying at Alton Central School (ACS) Raises Its Vicious,
>>Ugly Head Again
 — Dec. 6, 2013.
>> New Hampshire Department of Education (DOE) Offers
>> 3rd-Party Moderator Program For Bullying Cases Jan. 28, 2014.
>> Major bullying case at ACS — June 6, 2014.

Miracles never cease! Wow, WOw. WOW.
June 30, 2014.

>> The Latest Twist: WOW! August 7, 2014.

>> Lynda Wihitehouse’s letter re. bullying of staff & teachers
>>Aug. 21, 2014.

Click to ENLARGE.

Use this link to access the original in the August 21, 2014 issue of ‘The Baysider — on page 4.

I, of course, have NO gripes with this letter.

As I said yesterday I have heard similar allegations to this from two recent ex-ACS teachers.

So don’t get me wrong. I have no issues with this letter.

Just one thing that I want to clarify, something that has bothered me, greatly, since June 30, 2014 — so much so that I have called up and spent at least 40 minutes discussing ‘it’ with the N.H. Department of Education.

Towards the end of this letter, 4th para. from bottom, is as follows (and please do check the original above or at the source).


Click to ENLARGE. Use links above to access original etc.

What she says about the students having a ‘very structured steps‘ etc. is true. She would know. She would have seen that in action.

She then also goes onto say ‘TRAINED PERSONNEL‘ in the school. In theory, and most instances in practice, this is TRUE — though you may want to check on your own whether Concord actually checks on this or enforces this. From what I was told this ‘training’ is a recommendation. But, as far as I know, and as ALWAYS I can be wrong, there are indeed some staff at ACS with the requisite and germane training. I think, but I could be very wrong, that ACS’s Assistant Principal Mikel Lachapelle is one of those that has had this training. Check this post. So all of this is good.

But here is the funny twist. It appears that ALL decisions related to bullying made at ACS can be reviewed by the School Board and if necessary overturned. That is good too. We need an hierarchical appellate process. All decent legal systems rely on this. But here is my confusion and Concord can’t or won’t help me. Are School Board Members, who are elected, TRAINED on how to handle bullying? Have they been on the same courses as Mikel Lachapelle? I DO NOT KNOW.

All I do know, because some mind-blowing official ACS letters to a parent re. bullying were sent to me, is that the ACS School Board can totally reverse and overturn bullying decisions made by the SUPPOSEDLY TRAINED ACS staff. So, hypothetically, lets say that the supposedly trained Assistant Principal Mikel Lachapelle per the ‘structured steps’ talked about by Lynda Whitehouse makes a decision about a bullying incident at ACS. It would appear that the Board could totally overrule him. I am GLAD. Nobody, not even the pope, is infallible. My question and confusion has to do with the supposed training. If the decision of a TRAINED professional is to be overturned shouldn’t the folks overturning it have equivalent, if not better, training? And to say that they consulted a lawyer doesn’t cut it. Lawyers know law. If it is that simple when it comes to bullying why bother with training. Just bring in lawyers from the get go.

Maybe this is what democracy is all about. IF so why bother with the training and the COSTS associated with it? Why don’t we just let the Board deal with ALL of the bullying cases?

I haven’t tried to raise this with the ACS folks. They have enough on the plate. Concord has no answers. They say it happens.

So, my point, is very simple. Lynda Whitehouse, QUITE CORRECTLY, talks about the ‘structured steps’ and ‘trained personnel‘ when it comes to students. She is right. What did not come across that there are further steps in this process and I am NOT sure whether those are handled by trained personnel.

That is it. I have real work to do. Cheers.