Education official’s posts on diversity condemned by governor

Monitor staff
Published: 8/2/2018 12:55:59 PM

The governor says he is “confident” appropriate disciplinary action will be taken after the Department of Education’s top communications official made comments about a story on how to racially diversify New Hampshire on his personal Facebook account.

Anthony Schinella, a public information officer in the department, wrote July 28 that “Northern New England is the way it is because we’re the only people who want to be here,” while linking a New York Timesarticle that covered a meeting in Manchester, held at the Eversource utility’s headquarters last week, of business leaders, government officials and nonprofits on how to diversify the state.

“We’re very welcoming here (see the Free State Project),” the post continues, “but don’t come here if you’re going to change everything. We like it the way it is, which is why we are here and not where you live now.”

New Hampshire is 94 percent white, according to census data; the meeting in Manchester explored how the state might bring in other racial and ethnic groups, as well as more young people.

The post appeared to have been taken down as of Thursday, but according to WMUR, Schinella later wrote: “We don’t want or need New Hampshire to become any kind of cesspool. We have enough problems and many of us don’t want or need to pay more taxes because the new people moving in expect the same things they had in their other states. We are small; we don’t have the ability to tax our way out of problems.

“Diversity for diversity’s sake doesn’t bring us anything. An extreme example? 1,300 illegal alien Dominican drug dealers moving from Lawrence to, say, Concord will make the state 1 percent more diverse; but it would also bring more crime, higher taxes for public safety, and higher taxes for schools to teach their children.”

It would take about 13,000 New Hampshire transplants to alter the state’s population by 1 percent.

Schinella continued, “The people involved in this movement think they can bring in the ‘right’ kinds of people, but there is no guarantee of that. Central planners can’t control where people go and what they do; people move because they want to or they find opportunities; they don’t move because they don’t want to. It’s really that simple.”

Gov. Chris Sununu said through a statement Thursday that such comments “are unacceptable and wrong.”

“I am confident that Commissioner (Frank) Edelblut will take appropriate disciplinary action,” the statement continues.

Later, Edelblut said in a released statement that the department is taking “all appropriate and available disciplinary actions” consistent with the state’s public employee freedom of expression and labor relations board laws, as well as the state’s collective bargaining agreement.

“I, and the department of education, condemn this statement, and any racist statement,” the statement reads. “New Hampshire is a great place to live. It is a great place to raise a family. And, it is a great place to educate your children.”

RSA 98-E, which covers public employees’ freedom of expression rights, allows an employee to publicly discuss and give opinions on “on all matters concerning any government entity and its policies.”

Schinella couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.




Concord Monitor Office

1 Monitor Drive
Concord,NH 03301
603-224-5301

 

© 2019 Concord Monitor
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy