Manchester School Board Members Quit Panel Over Handling Of Student's Return

Dec 9, 2014

Three Manchester school board members have resigned from the board’s student conduct committee, protesting a decision by school officials to allow a student accused of assault back into school.

The five-member subcommittee was in the process of deciding whether to expel the student.

That’s when committee member Art Beaudry says district administrators circumvented the process, recommending to the full board last month the student be allowed to return.

The board approved that recommendation, leading Beaudry and two others to step down from the committee on Monday.

“My main goal as a student conduct committee member is to keep our schools safe, keep our faculty safe, and our student body safe. And if that is going to be jeopardized, then I don’t want any part of it.”

The student moved to the city with his family from Sudan, and the federal Office of Civil Rights had raised concerns about whether language interpreting services were ever offered.

Also stepping down from the committee was longtime chair Debra Gagnon Langton and board member Robyn Dunphy.

"It was very discouraging, very disheartening," Dunphy said. "The only thing I thought was left to do was to resign from that committee, to stand by what I believed was the right thing."

Superintendent Debra Livingston declined comment Tuesday.