What Happened at the April COOP Meeting?

At the April 10, 2021 Annual Hollis Brookline SAU41 COOP school board meeting the Amendment to Warrant Article 15 was put before the community.  

Despite the amendment coming to the floor 6 hours and 30 minutes into the meeting, nearly 500 voters remained.  Residents of Hollis and Brookline came to the microphone to exercise their rights as free citizens with true freedom of speech for 1 HOUR and 30 MINUTES!  

People spoke passionately and respectfully both for and against the amendment.  Nothing like this could happen in most countries in our world.  Few communities and few states have venues like this in which something of this nature can take place.

We are truly privileged to live in a country and a community where such a display of American exceptionalism can be demonstrated. 

The AboutHollis.com efforts on behalf of the warrant article assisted the town in many ways:

  1. AboutHollis.com educated many people about the true nature of Critical Race Theory (CRT). To learn more visit:  https://abouthollis.com/the-case-against-crt/ 
  2. AboutHollis.com promoted content explaining the difference between the Classical Approach of Martin Luther King and the Critical Race Theory Approach of Ibram X. Kendi. https://abouthollis.com/a-thought-provoking-look-at-two-compet- ing-approaches/ 
  3. AboutHollis.com provided rhetorical examples from here in New Hampshire that demonstrate the ways in which CRT proponents silence dissent, shut down free speech and stop debate by using words such as ‘inclusion and equity’ in distorted ways. https://abouthollis.com/dan-richards-hanover/
  4. AboutHollis.com provided an outlet for people who have been too afraid of retaliation and reprisals to make their concerns known.

For example: since the COOP meeting, six teachers have come forward to express their concerns and document the ways in which CRT is currently being inserted into the Hollis Primary School through a program called anti-bias, anti-racism (ABAR).

Courageous students have also come forward with their testimonies of political discrimination, indoctrination and intimidation in SAU 41. We are working to provide support for these kids so they know that they are not alone and to make sure the issues they have raised will be dealt with appropriately.

Sadly, however, MORE teacher intimidation of students at HBHS took place as a direct result of what occurred in the COOP meeting on April 10th.

In a speech given at the meeting, a number of student testimonies of CRT influence, political bias, discrimination and verbal bullying by teachers were shared.

Apparently this upset an HBHS COOP teacher who was present. A few days later, according to the report AboutHollis.com received, this teacher further intimidated students by quoting back to the class some of the “outrageous” claims from the testimonies made public in the speech.

Yet again, this type of teacher behavior caused at least one of our SAU 41 students to be afraid.  The student who reported the incident remarked:

“Luckily, I was able to remain anonymous.”  Adding, “when it comes to direct confrontation with teachers, I would prefer to stay anonymous for the sake of my grades.”


MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THE WARRANT ARTICLE and WHERE WE STAND

A number of speakers at the COOP meeting misunderstood our Amendment. There was concern that the amendment would have somehow prohibit the teaching of the uglier parts of American history

For the record, AboutHollis.com supports teaching the accurate history of America, both the good and the bad to our children. 

For example: Slavery, the Missouri Compromise, the Abolition Movement, the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, Reconstruction, Jim Crow Laws, and the Civil Rights Movement and its successes.  

AboutHollis.com objects to CRT proponents re-writing and falsifying history and teaching these topics through a CRT lens with initiatives such as the “1619 Project.” 

We are FOR open and honest discussion and debate. We are AGAINST political indoctrination of any kind. 

Opponents of the amendment organized a misinformation campaign leading people to believe things about our initiative that were not true. We at AboutHollis.com believe that this type of misinformation is the primary reason we came up short on the actual vote 43% to 57%.  

For example, many posters on the Hollis Brookline community Facebook page questioned who was behind this website and claimed that it must be driven by national money.

In reality, everyone involved in this website and all the funding for the campaign was from local citizens.  This remains a truly “grass roots movement.”

One of our supporters commented on this topic in her 2-minute speech at the meeting: 

In addition, if you listen to the speeches you will hear many times that our opponents convinced many people to believe that a ‘Yes’ vote to our amendment would mean a ‘No’ vote to DEI.  

In particular, citizens talked about the value of having a diverse and inclusive environment for our kids.

We TOTALLY agree with that! 

We seek to promote a diverse community that fosters equality, justice, and unity.  

As noted in this debate, we feel strongly that the principles espoused by Martin Luther King Jr. are superior to and healthier than those of CRT.  One of the SAU41 DEI Committee members made that point during his 2-minutes speech in support of our Amendment:



In the end, if just 31 people had switched their votes from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ then our amendment would have passed. 

We thank you for taking the time to seriously consider the issues presented on this website.