Last week Superintendent Metzler put out a press release that has been picked up internationally saying, untruthfully, that Hampstead Budget Committee Chairman, Jorge Mesa-Tejada, had a “blatant disregard for the safety of our children.”
Here is the relevant excerpt from this press release of Jan. 15:
First and foremost, we wish to state that the School Board and district administrators have a long established commitment and responsibility to the safety and well-being of our students and staff members.
Second, we take seriously these offensive and disgusting statements made by Mr. Mesa-Tejada and wholeheartedly denounce his behavior and blatant display of disregard for our children and their safety. Additionally we call into question his fitness to serve in any town official capacity.
Providing a safe and welcoming school environment for our students and staff is a priority and we are committed to this endeavor. We would like to reassure concerned students, parents, teachers, and staff members that we will continue to do everything within our power to ensure our schools are safe.
“The district administration has a long established commitment and responsibility to the safety and well-being of our students….” That’s good to hear asserted, but how does it jibe with Superintendent Metzler’s retaliatory threats against the budgets of Sandown schools?
During Timberlane’s budget season, our superintendent repeatedly threatened to freeze a line or lines in Sandown schools’ budgets to pay for snow clearing if the school district budget committee denied extra funds to the district for this purpose – even though the Town of Sandown has said repeatedly they intend to continue plowing Sandown Central.
Why would only the budget of Sandown schools be affected? Is it the school’s fault the budget committee decided against making the taxpayers double pay for snow clearing?
At last night’s Sandown Board of Selectman meeting (Jan. 18), Selectman Tom Tombarello said he had been in private conversation with Dr. Metzler that day and Metzler stated that he would freeze a line or lines in Sandown schools budgets to recover the costs to the district for anything associated with a new withdrawal plan.
Think about this. Is the superintendent of a district threatening to use school building operating funds as a political weapon against children and parents?
Mr. Tombarello repeated Dr. Metzler’s alleged threat with conviction and fear. As a selectman, Mr. Tombarello’s reaction should have been anger and defiance.
The district ran a $4 million surplus in 14/15. It is budgeted to run a $1.6 million this year. Yet, supposedly, the district needs to freeze money from the elementary schools of one pesky town to stay solvent?
Does such a threat as this correspond with a concern for the well-being of our children?
Is this is the kind of district the parents of Sandown are fighting to stay in? So they can be bullied with their own money and see their children’s comfort in school buildings held hostage?
To the vocal opponents of withdrawal, I ask you: where is your outrage? This time the threat serves your political interests. Next time it won’t.