Tag Archives: Sydney Leggett

Destination Imagination (DI) When It Comes To Alton Central School (ACS) & New Hampshire (NH-DI).

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related post:
>> Conflicts of Interests Bothers Me
>>Mar. 28, 2012.


Let me start off with two opening statements to make sure that everybody appreciates where I am coming from.

1. Everything I am going to say here, I have said before, to the pertinent ACS staff, NH-DI officials, the DI mother organization and even to Mrs. Michelle Obama! So, as far as I am concerned, this is a well trodden path for me.

2. I used to be huge, huge, huge proponent, believer and flag-bearer for DI and I think, deep down, I still believe that DI is a good thing. All four of my kids, going back to c. 1996, have done DI. Matthew did DI for at least 4 years and made it to Globals twice (in a 3 year period). Matthew, now a rampant over-achiever (who puts me to shame), can often be heard singing the praises of DI and readily claiming that DI helped him tremendously in making him what he is today: ultra-confident, creative and a go-getter. I have been to well over 20 DI meets. I was an assistant coach at ACS 2010 – 2011. Deanna & I were both DI coaches 2011 – 2012. I was a DI appraiser in 2012.

So that is the background. These days I have issues with both DI at ACS and DI-NH. They are different issues and I will address them separately. I really don’t want to offend or upset anybody, unduly, and as such I am going to be as gentle and innocuous as possible and resort to as many euphemisms as I can — though I do want to make sure that there is no confusion as to what I am trying to say.


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.


DI at Alton Central School (ACS)

The above, sent out Thursday night (10/10/2013), by ACS Principal Sydney Leggett, is the 3rd ACS Newsletter in a row, that had this Destination Imagination plea. The first two times I decided that I will keep my big mouth shut. When I saw it again on Thursday night, the Rubicon was crossed.

I have two issues here:

1/ It is getting LATE to start a DI team. Even if they get coaches signing up this coming week it will be the 4th week in October before they can have their first meeting. To me that is TOO LATE and unfair to the kids. NH schools with a proper DI cultures, like Hooksett, Bow, Gorham, where they have DI committees that meet year round, would have started their meetings by (latest) the third week of September. The number of meetings matter. So as far as I am concerned if you haven’t formed a team by the third week in October, call it a day for the year and move on. While winning isn’t everything, and competing alone is rewarding, I am a staunch believer that all kids should only ever compete on a LEVEL PLAYING FIELD. If not, it is not fair on the kids. So if our ACS kids start a month behind other kids that will always show when it comes to the meets. That distresses me. It is NOT their fault that they missed a month of meetings. It is the fault of the the ADULTS at ACS. I do NOT want to see ACS kids at a disadvantage because the ADULTS let them down. Have I made myself clear.

2/ Mrs. Leggett and I have had various ‘discussions’ on this 2011 – 2012. What I never did, and maybe I should have done, was take one of my old gloves (i.e. gauntlet) to school with me and throw it down at her feet and make it very official that I am challenging her to make this happen. What do I want her to do: ‘get ACS TEACHERS, especially all the science teachers, to be DI coaches’. Plain and simple. Mrs. Leggett should not be trying to find parents to be DI coaches. Yes, parents should be assistant coaches as I was in 2010 – 2011 — helping an ACS teacher. Why am I so adamant on this. Because this pertains to the culture of ACS. In terms of ALL of the non-sporting after school activities, coaching DI, indubitably, is the MOST time-consuming (if you are going to do it right). Zumba-whatever, may involve more physical effort for an hour, but in terms of hours a week, plus the two or three weekends, DI coaching takes up a lot of your time. I know. But, it is worthwhile. That MORE ACS teachers won’t do it is an indictment on ACS and the principal. I have challenged her on this before, without throwing down the symbolic gauntlet, but now I challenge her again: ‘Mrs. Leggett, get your teachers to COACH DI. Every ACS DI team should be led by a teacher. Recruit parents as assistant coaches’.


NH-DI

1/ The appraiser conflicts of interests that I spelled out in this post, and was responded to by NH-DI, still bother me. But, that is my opinion and nobody will convince me that it is the right thing. So, as ever, I am doing the right thing as far as I am concerned, which is all that I can do: I am staying away from DI-NH.

2/ Something else that bothered me greatly with NH-DI, probably as much of the ‘conflicts’, was the ‘image’ portrayed by the ‘adult’ NH-DI officials. ACS parents that attended the various DI meets with me will know that I fumed, muttered and ranted about: ‘This is not right. This upsets me …’ Let me say this as delicately as possible. I don’t want to take kids (and by kids, I refer to all kids in my charge and not just my own) to a so called ‘leadership event’ where more than 50% of the ‘adult’ officials do not meet the ‘BMI 25‘ criteria. I do not want my kids to listen to a mid-40s guy, who looks like he is 7 months pregnant, with twins, prancing around, going ‘Look at me. I am the face of DI. You too can be like me. This is what you are striving for …’. I want folks that look like Mittens Romney, Paul Ryan, Ted Cruz, Michele Bachmann, John Boehner, the President, Michelle Obama, Joe Biden, Dr. Mrs. Jill Biden, John Kerry etc. etc. standing up and serving as the role models for my kids. I don’t want kids to think that DI takes the place of sports and exercise — and given the time commitment that DI imposes, this can be an issue. I don’t want kids to think that you can’t be nerdy (a Geek) and a jock (Cool) at the same time. I told DI, in 2011, both NH and ‘mothership’, that I would like to see at least ONE DI challenge that was all about physical fitness or nutrition. I haven’t looked at this year’s challenges. But, until I see that NH-DI, takes this to heart, I am not going to take a team to a NH-DI meet. Again, this is my take. I don’t ask anybody to do anything I would not do. I write this after my 6 days a week, huff, puff and wheeze trudge up Prospect Mountain, wearing 5 pounds of wrist weights — and I won’t mention names, but I this morning, I was 10 minutes faster than a youngster young enough to be my grand-daughter.

Enough said.

Senior, Long Tenured Alton Central School (ACS) Teacher Claims NO Cognizance Of School Board Meetings!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related recent posts:
>> Lander cock-a-snook — Oct. 10, 2013.
>> Common Core the REAL standards …

>>Sep. 27, 2013.
>> Common sense on Common Core
>>Sep. 22, 2013.
>> Board gets congratulated for
>> meaningless vote — Sep. 19, 2013.
>> Common Core Vote …
>>Sep. 16, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Common Core’
or ‘Alton Central’
 from Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


I happened to meet this teacher, away from school, yesterday evening and as is my wont I struck up a conversation. I will not identify the teacher and to even preclude gender identification will refer to the teacher as ‘M. T.’ for Mr./Mrs./Miss/Ms. Teacher.

I had met ‘M. T.’ before. So, as is my wont of late, I eventually brought up ‘Common Core‘ and the implications thereof. As was to be expected ‘M.T.’ had lot to say about the matter and the Board’s decision to cast a vote against it, though what that meant nobody is sure.

ShockgsI asked ‘M.T.’ as to why teachers like him did NOT attend School Board meetings where C.C. was being discussed — and especially the August workshop which had a special section devoted to ‘C.C’.

‘M.T.’ knocked my socks off by saying that ACS teachers were NOT aware of School Board meetings, when they take place, or what transpires at them!

WOW. WOW. WOW.

Talk about being GOBSMACKED. 

Now ‘M.T.’ is not a spring chicken.  But, I am sure ‘M.T.’ is younger than me — as most people are.

If Deanna can find ACS School Board meeting schedules, postings, agendas and YouTube ‘tapings’ you surely would think that ACS teachers would be able to do the same — albeit, Deanna being very good at finding things on the Web.

So, I ask, still in shock, how we can rectify this. ‘M.T.’ says I SHOULD ask the Principal, Sydney Leggett, to post a notice in the Teacher’s Lounge. [As it happened, I saw Mrs. Leggett, serendipitously, when I dropped by the SAU office this afternoon, around 1 pm, to file, yet another, ‘Right to Know’ form. I asked Mrs. Leggett to oblige. I will follow-up with an e-mail.]

Again I was GOBSMACKED.

This was October 9, 2013.

I felt as if I was back in 1973.

How low-tech. Please ask the Principal to post a paper notice in our lounge. How quaint.

No e-mail. No Facebook. Nothing electronic. Nothing fancy. Just a paper notice.

Hhhhmmmmm.

So many things I can say, BUT I will abstain.

I really have no axe to grind with the ACS teachers. Most of them do a bang up job in what I think are trying conditions. So I don’t want to cause them any additional discomfort.

I will just be on Mrs. Leggett’s case to make sure that the Teachers know about the Board meetings.

acssbnotice

Common Sense Advice To Alton Central School (ACS) Parents On ‘Common Core’ On Meredith.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related recent posts:
>> Board gets congratulated for
>> meaningless vote — Sep. 19, 2013.
>> Common Core Vote … — Sep. 16, 2013.
>> How come no ACS teachers attended
>> … — Aug. 10, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Common Core’
or ‘Alton Central’
 from Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


From Saturday, September 21, 2013 'Laconia Daily Sun'. It has not been posted on its 'Past Issues' archive. So I can't give you the link. You will have to track it down. Clicking on image will, however, take you to the 'Laconia Sun' Website.

From Saturday, September 21, 2013 ‘Laconia Daily Sun’. It has not been posted on its ‘Past Issues’ archive. So I can’t give you the link. You will have to track it down. Clicking on image will, however, take you to the ‘Laconia Sun’ Website.


I will be e-mailing Mr. William ‘Bill’ Lander, the Superintendent shortly, for clarification of the stated NECAP rating mentioned above. I have heard so many variants and I want to make sure that these are the LATEST and do not relate to prior years.

I do not know this ‘McCarthy’ though I did know of another when I lived in Meredith.

Good, common sense letter.

Drives me NUTS that ACS parents are not getting involved in this vital ‘Common Core’ debate.

The poor teachers, who to their credit, stood up and expressed their support for ‘Common Core’, at the meeting at which this inane vote was taken (albeit at my provocative instigation), have been kicked, painfully, in the nuts! [Yes, that is a figure of speech and is not meant to be literal.]

Puts the Principal, Sydney Leggett, in an unenviable position — though that probably doesn’t phase her a jot since she is combative by nature. This was HER ‘Obamacare’. Ever since she came to Alton this was her signature tune. I remember her talking 2 years ago of CC. She has told us that she had approval from a prior board. We will have to check. But right now she looks like she has gone rogue and implemented this CC-based ‘program’ without the Board’s backing — though that is NOT supposed to happen.

I am hearing some very interesting and strange things about two of the Board Members. I need to visit the Town Hall and look at the tax rolls. I knew that one of them had their house foreclosed earlier this year. Now I am being told that it is NOT ONE but TWO! If that is the case 40% of this Board, JUST THIS YEAR, have run foul of some of the most basic of fiscal responsibilities. WOW. I hope this is not true.

Cracks me up. Where are the so called ‘Friends of Alton School‘?

Common Core is more important that renovating the buildings. But where is the outrage? Where are the pamphlets? Where are the signs? Just dead silence.

Alton Central School (ACS), N.H.: Intriguing School Board Meeting, July 22, 2013. More People Really Should Attend.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> ‘Slipping through the cracks’ … — July 22, 2013.
>> Slip waiting to happen at ACS — July 17, 2013.
>> Administration again compromises credibility — July 9, 2013.
>> School bus fiasco … — July 8, 2013.
>> Credibility of ACS Administration questioned — June 24, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


The BIG headline is that they are back to talking about costing out an addition, and Steve Miller of all people got that ball rolling. So the ‘contingency’ plan to move the back modulars closer to the permanent buildings, which was backed by the administration was put on hold. There was a brief discussion about the costs for 4 to 6 room additions. But, one key point, as far as I was concerned, was never really discussed. I thought that if there was any addition, even if it was just one room, the entire school has to be brought up to code and that that was where all the real costs were. That did not get discussed. I was going to get p and ask about it. But, between Deanna and I we had asked upwards of 8 questions — more from Deanna, than from me, for a change. So, I decided to leave it for another day. So deja vu all over again.

Other than the two of us there were only 3 other parents present — and one of them is employed by the school. I wish more people would attend. A lot of ‘crazy’ stuff happens.

Let me give you some headlines.

1/ The Superintendent, who managed to wrangle a 3 year contract from this Board last year, tried to get another compensation hike by requesting (through his friend & associate the ‘business manager’) a recommendation that he be allowed to accrue up to 30 days of sick pay — which he could, when he leaves, cash in. Steve Miller, rightly, pointed out that this was not in the negotiated contract and that it should not now be added to it since it was a chance to the T&Cs. But, the Board Chairs, Sandy Wyatt and Terri, voted for it — though Sandy Wyatt did look a bit sheepish. Steve Miller voted against and after an agonizing wait, Carlos Martinez, joined with Steve. Krista was not present. So it was 2-2 and the motion, thankfully, was not passed. But, this proved my point. If Krista had been there the Superintendent would have got his wish. Scary.

2/ All of those that work for ACS are entitled to a $2,000 year ‘bonus’ if they opt not to get health coverage through the school (because, for example, they get coverage through their spouse). Steve Miller, again, questioned the NEED for this. The administration claims it is an incentive. They voted on Steve’s motion to drop the $2,000. Carlos did NOT vote with Steve. So Steve, as was always the case last year, lost. This time 1-3. To me there is an easy fix. Everybody should pay a token amount, say, $25 a month for their health insurance. That would do away with the need to pay a bonus.

3/ Steve Miller, again to his credit, question the principal, Sydney Legget about her claim that only 1 kid was affected by the school bus snafu. She now admitted that she heard of two other cases the next morning. Yea. I couldn’t get a clear view of the skyline from where I was seated to see if there were any pigs flying!

4/ Though I knew the answer, just to make sure it goes on the record, I got up and asked whether they could confirm that there was an independent, 3rd party investigation in progress about a serious bullying allegation at ACS. The Superintendent confirmed that there was indeed an investigation. I asked whether we would be given any details of it. NO. Remember, we are paying for this. But, it is closed-door. Trust me, nothing is going to happen. There is another meeting today, Tuesday, July 23. But, the Board will just brush it under the carpet. But, at least we now have it on record that an investigation did take place.

5/ Deanna and I both brought up bullying. You can watch it on TV.

Kids ‘Slipping Through The Cracks’ At Alton Central School (ACS), N.H. — The Cracks Should Be Fixed ASAP!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Slip waiting to happen at ACS — July 17, 2013.
>> Administration again compromises credibility — July 9, 2013.
>> School bus fiasco … — July 8, 2013.
>> Credibility of ACS Administration questioned — June 24, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.


I have still not been able to rationalize why there is so much raw emotion from parents when it comes to the Alton Central School (ACS) building (which we are now finding out is in better shape than the Board cum Administration ever admitted) but very few people seem to want to stand up and be counted when it comes to other issues, such as bullying, that adversely impact the kids.

So check out the above remarks, originally appearing on Facebook, by an ACS mother that we know. [Yes, of course, I have all the names.]

Not good.

Kids should not be falling through the cracks.

But, the current administration, as I have pointed out, appears not be accountable to any power of Earth.

Well, all I can do is to highlight these issues. If others do not care, bully for them. We are already homeschooling one …

A Serious Slip Waiting To Happen At Alton Central School (ACS), NH.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> Administration again compromises credibility — July 9, 2013.
>> School bus fiasco … — July 8, 2013.
>> Credibility of ACS Administration questioned — June 24, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


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I happened to notice this when I took part in the ‘Winni Walk’ on June 17, 2013. Over the last year or so I very rarely go to the back of the school and this was the first time in over a year that I had walked by the classrooms there.

I saw the non-slip covering and was very impressed. But, being who I am, I had to check that it was securely fastened. So I gently nudged it with my shoe.

Secure my foot!

It just slid off and I had to scramble to put it back on.

I was appalled.

This is an accident waiting to happen. A kid hopping on to it, as kids are wont to do, will go flying.

I was amazed that nobody at the school had noticed it.

I went back (with Deanna’s camera) and did some checking. As you can faintly see in the 3rd picture above the non-stick was glued on with haphazardly applied dabs of glue. No continuous coating. The glue is all dried up.

Right now this is a major danger to kids.

Plus, that whole retaining wall is a joke. You could not have designed a better obstacle to trip young kids. What were they thinking?

Who designed this? Who came up with the specs? Who built in? Doesn’t anybody in the school walk around the facility, once a week, checking on safety issues?

All this fuss about air quality and other non-existent issues when we have things like this right under our feet.

Well, the school better fix this soon.

I am hoping that School Board member Steve Miller, the only person on the Board that can be relied upon to consistently speakup on behalf of the kids, and in reality “Alton’s TRUE Champion for the kids“, will see this post and contact William Lander, the Superintendent.

Deanna plans to bring it up at the next School Board meeting on July 22. Well, I have a few things I want to bring up at that meeting too:

1/ Why did the Principal, Sydney Leggett convey misinformation about the July 8, 2013 school bus incident?

2/ What is the status of the Independent, 3-rd Party Bullying Investigation and are we ever going to be told, even the bare outlines of what it was all about — and, furthermore, HOW MUCH IT COST and who authorized, in terms of the vote, that payment?

3/ Why a School Board member, who would have been party to authorizing the investigation, is now claiming he was then barred from providing pertinent input to the investigation. Aaaah! Who is wagging the tail here? Yes, I have started to realize that the Administration of late [i.e., since March] appears to have autocratic, plenipotentiary powers. Not sure how that came to be. Well, actually I have a good idea.

Alton Central School (ACS), NH: School Administration AGAIN Compromises Their Credibility!

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> School bus fiasco … — July 8, 2013.
>> Credibility of ACS Administration questioned — June 24, 2013.

++++ Do a SEARCH on ‘Alton Central’ from
Sidebar search trench for other related posts >>>>>


School Board member Mr. Steve Miller, yet again proving that he is the only one on the board that on a consistent basis stands up for the kids, brought up the issue of the School Bus shenanigans on July 8, 2013, at last night’s ACS School Board Meeting. [How come WE were the only public attending?]

Thank YOU, Mr. Miller. Your efforts on behalf of the kids, as was also the case with bullying, is much appreciated.

Mr. Bill Lander, the Superintendent, said that he hadn’t had a chance to get to the bottom of it — since I had only e-mailed him a couple of hours prior to the meeting, after I had done my post (for the record).

But, Mrs. Sydney Leggett, the Principal, was happy to jump in and provide an update. She said that ONLY 1 kid was affected. Well it is on the ‘tape’, i.e., the video recording IF they ever get around to posting it (unedited).

Check the tape. Listen to what Mrs. Sydney Leggett, the Principal, says.

Why Bill Landers and the Principal forget that they are ‘on tape’ is a continuing mystery to me — unless, of course, they don’t give a damn, because they are not accountable to anyone.

So, Mrs. Leggett says ‘one child’. Well, we are aware of ONE CHILD, because Deanna got a call from the child himself asking her what he should do!

I, was told by Mrs. Pam Forbes (and I am now beyond trying to protect too many people as I was yesterday) that a ‘number of kids were involved‘. [That certainly sounded like there was MORE than 1.]

And here is another mother and she is pretty adamant. Images below. And yes, of course, I have the original unredacted versions. These discussions take place on Facebook. 

Well you don’t have to have done Singapore Math to work out that we now have at least 2. So that is more than 1.

Credibility ….

School Board …

Mr. Lander ….

July8BusLeg1

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July8BusLeg2

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‘Common Core’ Presentation By Alton Central Principal Sydney Leggett At June 10, 2013 School Board Meeting.

Anura Guruge, June 8, 2013.

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Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>>
Flaw in ‘Common Core’ math books — June 15, 2013.
>>
Alton Central might not have 100% Board support for ‘Common Core’
>>June 11, 2013.

>>
NHPR on ‘Common Core’ — June 9, 2013.
>>
I request School Board do joint Common Core presentation
>>May 14, 2013.

>>
Facts about the biometric bracelet — May 12, 2013.
>>
May 11, ‘Common Core Curriculum’ meeting in Alton — May 11, 2013.
>> Lets find out about ‘Common Core Curriculum’ — May 8, 2013.


CommonCorepresentation


This was the ‘Common Core’ presentation that I had requested.

Definitely worth watching. Listen to what she has to say with an open mind.

Alton Central School (ACS), at least for 2013 – 2014, is committed to ‘Common Core‘.

Alton Central School (ACS): Safety Inspection Report, Feb. 26, 2013, By The NH Department Of Labor.

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by
Anura Guruge


A Couple Of Related Posts:
>> Air quality at ACS — Apr. 1, 2013.
>> Town requests ACS to address malodorous sinks — Apr. 4, 2013.

..++++ For more ACS related posts do a SEARCH on ‘ACS’ using
..sidebar search trench >>>>>


Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.


I was given a copy of this report last week. What struck me was that I had mentioned in my recent ‘air quality’ post that ACS in addition to being a school was also a workplace and that workplaces do have to meet certain safety standards. So, I am delighted that the state Department of Labor has conducted this test — though they did not check for air quality (because as I am now learning NH does not have any mandatory standards for indoor air quality, even in schools). The timing of this inspection, exactly a fortnight prior to the $18 million school renovation bond election, must have been a coincidence.

I think we have had at least two ACS School Board meetings, viz. March 5, 2013 & April 3, since this report was issued. Not sure whether the School Board addressed this report.

I have looked at the report multiple times. On the whole, as far as I can tell, there are no outright, show-stoppers. But, there are quite a few disturbing findings. Here is one that bothered me since Devanee would have been in this classroom if not for the fact that we are homeschooling her.

VIO # 35, ‘Housekeeping’ • Grade 6 – math – the secondary exit is blocked with a desk and bookcase.

I could, as ever, be wrong, but that doesn’t sound good. I don’t think that we as a community would be too amused if we heard that our kids couldn’t vacate a classroom in an emergency because a door was blocked.

Now here is where it gets even more disturbing. I am getting told (even today, i.e., Sunday) that some, if not many, of these concerns had already been reported to the administration by concerned residents, one from what I gather even going to the trouble of providing a set of photographs of the infractions.

A lot of it appears to be procedural stuff that is not getting done. Appears that classrooms cannot have the glass panels on the doors obscured. That would appear fairly easy to fix, assuming that the school administration knew about these requirements — which I hope that they did.

Then there is another violation that bothers us, especially since Deanna, totally independently and coincidentally, happened to notice it too. This actually on the first page.

VIO #4, ‘Duties and Responsibilities of the Joint Loss Management Committee (JLMC)’, Not In Compliance, SAU Office: The JLMC has not been meeting quarterly.

I will let you make up your own mind. I assume that this report will start making its rounds around those that have concerns. I guess the School Board might address this at some point.

I will leave it here. But, when we start talking about SAFETY lets make sure that these things cited in this DoL report are addressed.



We have also heard that there was some ‘excitement’ at ACS on Friday afternoon. Hhhmmmm. Appears to a lot happening these days.



Alton Central School 8th Grade Student Council President, In Letter, Claims That Bullying Is Alive And Well At ACS.

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Anura Guruge


Devanee our daughter was subject to considerable bullying at ACS.

In 2011 it got so bad that I requested a formal investigation per HB 1523.

I redacted a part that is not that relevant to this discussion to avoid folks getting distracted. Click to ENLARGE.

I redacted a part that is not that relevant to this discussion to avoid folks getting distracted. Click to ENLARGE.

It ended up with an ‘independent’ evaluator from Gilford mediating. Then a year later Devanee, accidentally or otherwise, got slapped in the face in the school bus coming home. That is when we decided to homeschool her.

Deanna and I both experienced bullying when young. We are determined that other kids should not go through this same experience.



Yesterday morning I got an e-mail, with an attached letter, from another ACS parent. It was about bullying and had been written by her daughter, 8th Grade Student Council President, to the ACS School Board.

I know the daughter, and for that matter the whole family. Both her brothers were on my 2011 – 2012 Destination Imagination (DI) team, and the mother (who sent me the e-mail) was my Assistant Coach. The author of the letter often attended our DI sessions. Since then I have got to know the whole family. These kids, by any measure, are exceptional. Yes, they did go to private school before coming to ACS. But that is neither here nor there. All I know is that I have great faith in these kids and their parents.

Since the letter has been sent to the School Board I am going to bide my time and in general bite my tongue (though I have made a call to a ‘anti-bullying’ campaigner to give him a ‘heads up’).

There is one KEY thing in this letter that bothers me, and it bothers me so much that I have to address it.

This young lady is NOT trying to cause trouble or get anybody into trouble. To the contrary. She does not want to name names.

She wants to try and SOLVE the problem through student awareness, participation and goodwill.

To me that sounds beyond wonderful. BRAVO.

So, what is she asking?

She would like the school to have Group Seminars and Discussions where the students can discuss bullying.

That is IT. Ok, I could, as ever, be wrong. But, this seems like a great idea to me.

And then comes the bit that has me confounded, and I am going to show an extract of the letter to avoid any misunderstanding:

Click to ENLARGE.

Click to ENLARGE.

Mr. Lander can WE see these studies that YOU quote?

This is what confuses me. I have done some reading on anti-bullying programs. Everything that I have read indicates that group initiatives, students working with their peers, is the best way to stamp out bullying.



This is from the Federal 'stop bullying.gov' website. Click to access.

This is from the Federal ‘stop bullying.gov’ website. Click to access.


Per Minnesota Public Radio schools in MN appear to encourage this type of assemblies. Click to access.

Per Minnesota Public Radio schools in MN appear to encourage this type of assemblies. Click to access.


So this was ANOTHER 8th grader. Click to access.

So this was ANOTHER 8th grader. Click to access.


Another ... just click.

Another … just click.


An anti-bullying organization has this to say. Click.

An anti-bullying organization has this to say. Click.


You can do your own Googling.

Here is the NH State page on bullying.