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Our Children Deserve Better: Demand Dawn Johnson Resign from the Laconia School Board

Dawn Johnson must either resign from the Laconia School Board or be removed by action of the State Board of Education and the State Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut.Its the responsibility of all school board members school administrators educators school staff students and parents to create an environment where students of all races identities religions abilities and orientations feel safe to grow and learn. The Laconia Student Conduct Policy states that students are prohibited from conduct that causes

material or substantial disruption to the school environment interferes with the rights of others presents a threat to the health and safety of students employees and visitors violates other Board policies or is otherwise inappropriate.Furthermore the guidelines for school employees use of social networking websites states that.School district employees are prohibited from engaging in any conduct on social networking websites that violates the law school board policies or other standards of conduct. Employees who violate this policy may face discipline andor termination..

School Board members must be held to standards at least as rigorous as the standards for students and employees. School Board member Dawn Johnson recently posted to Twitter an article from the white supremacist propaganda site The Daily Stormer that included dehumanizing racist and antiSemitic language and images. By trafficking in and distributing this dangerous offensive and dehumanizing material Ms. Johnson has violated the codes of conduct we hold for both students and staff. It is reasonable to expect School Board members to be held to similar codes of conduct.

It is for these reasons that we Rights & Democracy and our members in Laconia in solidarity with the students parents educators and residents of the Laconia School District demand Dawn Johnson resign from the School Board.If Ms. Johnson chooses not to resign then given that the State Board of Education shares responsibility for public school with local school boards through RSA 21N1 I and in section i of Ed 303.1 Substantive Duties each school board shall

i Adopt a rule to ensure that there shall be no discrimination on the basis of sex race age creed color marital status national origin or disability in educational programs or activities consistent with local standards which may be stricter in specific areas than the broader statewide standards.It is clear that Ms. Johnson has violated these standards for board members and the Board in concert with Commissioner of Education Edelblut should take steps to remove School Board member Johnson.Therefore we demand Commissioner Edelblut and the seven member state Board of Education hold a hearing to determine if Dawn Johnson should be removed from the Laconia School Board.

The time has come for State Representative Dawn Johnson to resign.In order for this grand experiment of freedom and democracy to succeed it is imperative we enable all people of all races identities religions abilities and orientations equal and open access to participation in every aspect of public and political life here in New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is by far the largest single branch of government of any state in the country. With 400 representatives there is tremendous diversity of opinion and approach to all manner of issues that came before the governing body.However we must never allow the corrosive ideology of white supremacy to generate even the smallest crack in the foundation of our government.

In defense of these principles we the member led organization Rights & Democracy in solidarity with people all across New Hampshire call on Representative Dawn Johnson from Belknap Countys 3rd District to resign from her seat in the House of Representatives.Ms. Johnson in a sincedeleted Tweet shared an article from the white supremast propaganda site The Daily Stormer that included dehumanizing racist and antisemitic language and graphic images. She has since issued a poorly worded apology for posting the article however she has not offered an apology or an explanation to the very people she has disenfranchised and demeaned.

We can not allow Ms. Johnson and her bigotted actions to potentially cast the deciding vote on important issues in the Peoples House.I am proud to have grown up in Laconia and to have been educated here from 19902003. Although New Hampshire has never been immune to bigotry or conspiracy theories it feels like we are going backwards. If we accept this behavior from a state representative what will we accept next What do we want our children and visitors to think of the Granite State We are better than this. Meghan Daigneau

About Nabeel Haider

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