A petition asking for the superintendent of a New Hampshire high school to resign has nearly half of the required signatures. The school was recently criticized for identifying its unvaccinated students with a marker at their prom. For a variety of reasons, parents of certain kids in New Hampshire's School Administrative Unit 16 (SAU 16) are requesting the replacement of Superintendent Dr. David Ryan and several school board members.
These reasons include keeping the district's schools closed after other schools in the state reopened, not allowing parents to choose whether or not their children should wear face masks, using mental health assessments without parental knowledge or consent, and branding and tracking of students at prom. Exeter, Brentwood, Kensington, East Kingston, Newfields, and Stratham, N.H. are all served by SAU 16.
Parents are outraged as teachers marked unvaccinated students at a prom
"We want a leader who can unite the community and serve all of SAU 16's families. We no longer trust you to lead our district to the high standards that our students deserve," the petition reads, as per Newsweek.
With 459 signatures, the petition is over halfway to the 1,000 signatures required. A black marker was used to label any student who didn't have a vaccination card at Exeter High School's senior prom earlier this month, while students who have had vaccinations received a red mark.
During the school dance, event organizers and other underclass students asked pupils to raise their hands every few songs for contract tracking purposes. The way prom protocols were handled prompted Republican State Rep. Melissa Litchfield to ask for additional information about the events on her Facebook page.
She also stated that school authorities had no right to demand vaccination cards, and she cited a parent's outraged comparison of the scenario to "Nazi Germany." While the school said that it was unaware of any COVID-19 instances related to the prom, it also stated that just one of the event's organizers had a list of prom attendance that included numbers that corresponded to student names. That particular piece of information has been kept confidential.
Principal Mike Monahan defended the action in an emailed statement to NBC10 Boston, stating, "Our student and parent response to the prom experience has been incredibly good. We are aware that some students have voiced worries about being singled out or having their privacy invaded."
Students at Exeter High School in New Hampshire were marked unvaccinated and vaccinated with a pen earlier this month. Administrators defended the policy in a statement on the school's website.
The school stated that no COVID-19 cases have been linked to the prom. Some parents were outraged by the action, which also garnered criticism from a lawmaker.
Some schools require students to be vaccinated
Some parents in New Hampshire are pushing back as schools around the country wrap off an academic year plagued by issues about in-person learning, masks, and social exclusion. Following the approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine for children as young as 12 years old last month, the focus has moved to vaccination status and whether states may impose vaccinations for students in the fall. In the United States, almost 17 million adolescents are now eligible for vaccination.
Per The Washington Post, some school districts, like the Los Angeles Unified School District, have said that vaccination will be required for students. However, according to a Gallup survey released Friday, only 56% of Americans support mandating high school students to get vaccinated before the fall. Some institutions, such as Centner Academy in Miami, have gone to extremes to oppose the vaccination, using discredited disinformation and informing its teachers in April that they should either not get the vaccination or expect to be rejected.