Concord School District to release redacted copy of 100-page Leung investigation in 3 weeks

  • Concord School District Building Courtesy

Monitor staff
Published: 6/3/2020 6:24:43 PM

The Concord School District says it will release in three weeks a redacted copy of a 100-page report that contains details about the way it handled sexual misconduct complaints about a former teacher.

In a status report to the court Wednesday, Dean Eggert, attorney for the school district, wrote that the district is releasing the report in light of a recent opinion from the New Hampshire Supreme Court that says documents relating to internal personnel practices are not automatically exempt from the state’s right-to-know law.

“It is the intent of the Concord School District to file a redacted copy of the report which properly considers the rules of law articulated by the Supreme Court,” Eggert wrote.

The ACLU of New Hampshire, the Concord Monitor and Concord parent Dellie Champagne filed a lawsuit with the district in November 2019 to obtain the report, which was drafted in 2019 by Massachusetts attorney Djuna Perkins, and contains details about how the district responded to complaints of inappropriate behavior by former teacher Howie Leung.

Last week, the New Hampshire Supreme Court ruled that records related to “internal personnel practices” are not categorically exempt from the state’s right-to-know law. The Concord School Board had argued no portion of the report could be made public because it involved “internal personnel practices.”

“The district’s change of position highlights the importance of last week’s New Hampshire Supreme Court decisions that reinterpreted our right-to-know law to provide greater transparency and accountability,” said Gilles Bissonnette, legal director for the ACLU of New Hampshire. “Because of these decisions, we are, as a state, already starting to see more transparency.”

It may take up to three weeks for the district to release the report because redactions will have to be made to the text to conceal private information. The process “will take many hours,” Eggert wrote.

“The investigation pertains to an alleged crime against a juvenile who has not waived her privacy rights,” Eggert wrote. “The report contains confidential information pertaining to other students who have likewise not waived their privacy rights.”

Leung, who taught in the district for 13 years, was arrested in April 2019 and charged with sexually assaulting a Concord student at a summer program at the Fessenden School in Massachusetts in 2015 and 2016 when she was 13 and 14 years old.

After Leung’s arrest, the Concord School Board hired Perkins to examine the district’s response to complaints made about Leung’s conduct from 2014 and 2018. The school board voted to fire former Principal Tom Sica and former Superintendent Terri Forsten, after reading the report.

The contents of the report may answer questions about how many complaints were made about Leung during his time as a Concord teacher, and how the district chose to handle any complaints that were made.


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