Letter: Concord, SNHU must apply lessons

Published: 2/13/2021 12:01:08 AM

I am a bit embarrassed, a little ashamed and extremely disappointed in both the Concord School District and Southern New Hampshire University, each of which I graduated from.

As the director of human resources for CSD, Larry Prince relied on the information obtained by an assistant high school principal who relied on a colleague of Joshua Harwood to determine that “there were no red flags.” Two months later, Harwood was hired. Lauren Keane, spokeswoman for SNHU, stated that since Harwood’s termination reasons did not rise to the level of a “criminal offense” there was “no requirement” to make a report to the New Hampshire Department of Education. Does this sound to you like all parties acted with due diligence? I certainly do not think so.

Prince should immediately change their practice so that inquiries regarding potential hires are requested through official channels.

Keane stated that they “would not have recommended that he teach in any capacity as we have done with previous requests related to Mr. Harwood.” This information went nowhere because no one asked, and they were “not required” to report it as it was not a criminal offense. Even though SNHU was not “required” to report this information to anyone, it seems that it should be a reasonable expectation that the NHDOE have the information in this case.

My request is that these two institutions of learning come up with a way to prevent this sort of thing from happening again. It is time for school districts and colleges to both work with NHDOE toward a solution that sheds some light on important facts to improve the hiring process.

I will say I am thankful that, in this case, CSD took the former student’s word with respect to the allegations and followed up.

HERBERT CARPENTER

Concord




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