Hohensee under fire: BOE president, superintendent want her to resign
NASHUA – Board of Education President Heather Raymond and Superintendent Jahmal Mosley want board member Doris Hohensee to immediately resign due to her social media posts that allegedly put a student in danger — and for her alleged pro-Nazi remarks.
“As a father and as a community member, I’m disgusted and repulsed by how (Hohensee) treated that student,” Mosley told The Telegraph on Friday.
“All I ask is she has some compassion and kindness for our kids, but this shows lack of compassion of our kids. I won’t tolerate that from her,” Mosley added.
As for Hohensee’s alleged pro-Nazi comments, Nashua resident and Holocaust survivor Fred Teeboom was quick to defend her on Friday.
“For example, during speeches on the origin of the Holocaust I sometimes quote from Hitler’s Mein Kampf. That does not make me a Nazi or a Nazi sympathizer. To the contrary, quoting from despicable source to make an effective counterpoint can be a very valuable teaching tool, which was Ms. Hohensee’s sole objective,” Teeboom said.
Allegation No. 1
A Friday school district statement cited two separate social media incidents involving Hohensee within the last week.
According to the release, on May 3, a student created a post on her personal Facebook page about her opposition to the planned Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps air rifle course near Nashua High School North.
On Sunday, a local blogger wrote a public blog on Granitegrok.com, citing the student’s post, but did not identify the student.
The school’s information states that later on Sunday, Hohensee wrote a comment in response to the blog, which identified the student by name and called on readers to visit the student’s page. Raymond said Hohensee also wrote a second comment, agreeing with another user’s statement that the student deserved “heavy backlash” for her post.
It also states later that evening, members of the public visited the student’s page and posted derogatory comments.
“Hence, our student, through Ms. Hohensee’s actions, was referred to in unspeakable terms,” school officials state.
The district also states that Hohensee’s public statements violated the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) by sharing the student’s name and contact information publicly without permission from parents, and violates the requirements of the City Charter by placing the student in danger.
“To the community of Nashua, we publicly rebuke Ms. Hohensee’s behavior as it is not acceptable behavior from a Nashua Board of Education member. The city of Nashua residents have put their trust in board members and this behavior is a gross violation of that trust,” the release adds.
Mosley said he and Raymond have been trying to understand why a board member would allegedly do such a vile thing to a student.
“I can’t fathom that,” Mosley said. “Our students are the most precious commodity in the city.”
The Nashua Teachers’ Union also issued a press release regarding the incident.
“Nashua Teachers’ Union President Adam Marcoux and the executive board stand in solidarity with the Nashua School District and the Board of Education on their call for the resignation of board member Doris Hohensee,” the release states. “As educators, we have a responsibility to educate our students on all points of an issue, teach them to debate the issue fairly, and respect all points of view. The student in this case wrote a very well-written argument from her perspective to enter the debate. We commend this student for bringing forward her point-of-view in an articulate manner, and entering the debate in a professional manner.”
On Friday, Hohensee said on the matter, “I don’t think it was my one sharing of the post or somebody else’s sharing of the post that resulted in those emails. I certainly didn’t ask for anyone to be rude. I would never ask that.”
Hohensee also said she is not resigning.
“I don’t know when the board held this meeting to have this against me. That violates the Right to Know law.”
Teeboom quickly defended Hohensee in an email to Raymond late Friday.
“Failure to backup your accusations with fact and law subjects you to defamation, actionable in a court of law. Furthermore, you seek Ms. Hohensee’s resignation from the board. Therefore, you also need to cite your authority; otherwise you can be litigated for abuse of your power.”
Allegation No. 2
Raymond is also calling for Hohensee’s resignation due to a quote she posted on a Facebook page account from Lothrop Stoddard, who wrote several books advocating for eugenics and scientific racism – and whose book was considered training materials for the Nazi regime.
Hohensee referenced Revolt Against Civilization: The Menace of the Under-Man to make a point about social and emotional learning.
“I don’t understand the rationale for quoting and using such bigotry literature. As a father of three children here, as a parent of a multi-racial family, as a community member of residence here, there’s no way that any of that is ever going to take hold in this community,” Mosley said Friday. “What Ms. Hohensee did to the extent to this community and to anyone that believes in social justice and diversity was wrong and she needs to vacate her seat immediately.”
Mosley he will make sure to keep students safe, and keep students away from “any of the negativity and hate coming from a particular board member, in this case, Ms. Hohensee.”
“There’s no place for that in our community here,” Mosley said. “And to all of the families of color, to all of our families that support social justice and to all our Jewish families, you have an ally here at our schools. This is a welcoming community.”
Hohensee said she used the quote to express opposition to socialism – and that board members just want to get rid of her.
Hohensee said she is not a racist.
“I think the board has a problem with me because I ask questions. I demand transparency and I call them out when they are violating with the law.”
Hohensee said she was elected to uphold the law and make sure the school district has transparency. She will do that for what’s left of her term.