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Kidd Removed From All Board of Education Subcommittees

Merrill Kidd told Patch Wednesday that she feels her removal was entirely politically based and that she has no intention of resigning from the Board of Education.

Merrill Kidd, the Republican member of the Board of Education who found herself at the center of controversy last week after allegations surfaced that she sent harassing Facebook messages to another school board member, has been removed from her position on all subcommittees of the school board, according to an email Board of Education Chairman Chris Pattacini sent to board members Wednesday. 

"Effective immediately, Ms. Kidd will no longer be serving as a member of any subcommittees of the board. I felt it necessary to take this action, in light of recent events, and to ensure that the work of the board continues in a proper and productive manner," Pattacini wrote in his email. 

Since allegations surfaced last week that Kidd sent a number of late-night harassing and threatening Facebook messages to Kelly Luxenberg, a Democratic member of the school board, Kidd has maintained that she has no plans of resigning her seat on the Board of Education. Democrats on the school board unsuccessfully tried to get Kidd to step down at last Monday's meeting of the Board of Education, but she left the meeting afterwards without acknowledging their request. There is no provision in the Manchester Town Charter for the removal of elected members of the Board of Education or Board of Directors for improper or illegal conduct, so there is nothing the school board can do to force her resignation. 

Kidd served on the Curriculum & Instruction Review, Buildings and Sites, Community Relations, and Policy Committee subcommittees of the school board before her removal.

Kidd told Patch Wednesday that she still had no plans of resigning from the school board and planned to attend subcommittee meetings anyway. 

"I think that this has now become a political thing," Kidd said. "It's not something else. I don't know what to say at this point…the parties are fighting. They want me out." 

Pattacini did not return a call for comment Wednesday, but stated in his email to school board members that he "instructed" Kidd to no longer attend the subcommittee meetings. 

"Please note that while I also instructed her to not attend any of the subcommittee meetings, I do not have the authority or the power to deny her attendance at the meetings," Pattacini wrote. "However, if she chooses to attend any of the subcommittee meetings she will be there in her capacity as a member of the general public and not as a Board member." 

Pattacini also included an updated list of subcommittee assignments in his email: 

Curriculum & Instruction Review – Cruz/Hagenow - Co-Chairs, Crockett, WaltonPersonnel & Finance & Negotiations – Crockett/Leon – Co-Chairs, Hagenow, PattaciniBuildings and Sites – Crockett/Leon – Co-Chairs, Hagenow, LuxenbergCommunity Relations – Crockett/Luxenberg – Co-Chairs, Hagenow, WaltonTransportation & Residency –Luxenberg – Chair, Crockett, Hagenow, ScappaticciPolicy Committee – Cruz/Hagenow – Co-Chairs, Hagenow, ScappaticciBOE/BOD Shared Services Committee – Crockett, Hagenow, Leon, Pattacini

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Craig February 23, 2012 at 03:36 PM
Let me try to get this straight. Ms. Kidd sent messages (strongly worded to say the least) via private chat on Facebook to Ms. Luxenberg - an internet venue that requires acceptance of a 'friend' for chat purposes. Ms. Luxenberg then accused Ms. Kidd of harrassment and bullying and called the police (unnesessarily). Now the BOE Chairman has stated that Ms. Kidd is no longer to attend any BOE sub-committee meetings. HHHmmmmm - who's the bully now? Stop playing politics on this non-issue and start paying attention to the real issue at hand - good and effective education for all Manchester children!!!!!
melissa m February 23, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Please know that this action to remove Ms.Kidd would be a disjustice to the people and greatly to the children of Manchester. Ms. Kidd has been such an impact to our schools in a positive way that she has the support of the people that count... the voters that voted her in. Keep your eyes onn the intrests of the children of Manchester and our schools and let this go.
Kevin John February 24, 2012 at 01:33 PM
Craig - Facebook is a public forum that DOES NOT require a person accept a friend request prior to messages being sent. Thats just false. Further Ms. Luxenberg did not initiate the conversation, nor did she feed into it. When you a working relation with someone, a level of professionalism is expected. When you are a Public Official a whole other level of professionalism is expected. Ms. Kidd failed to maintain even a working relationship level of decorum and now must be held accountable. So tough, Ms. Kidd must deal with the consequences of her actions. Melissa M - What has Ms. Kidd been able to effect in less then two month? Ms. Kidd's removal is in the interests of the district. If your child sends harassing messages over the internet, and then gets arrested for cyberbulling, you might feel differently about having Ms. Kidd as an example of proper behavior.
Jerry O'Connor February 25, 2012 at 03:35 AM
"Please note that while I also instructed her to not attend any of the subcommittee meetings, I do not have the authority or the power to deny her attendance at the meetings," Pattacini wrote. Another tough stand by the BOE Chair.... LOL! Note to Kevin: "Cyberbulling" ...isn't that like when I get an email announcing that I've won the Wouth African lottery?
Kevin John February 25, 2012 at 10:27 AM
No Jerry, Cyberbullying is defined as "Bullying" means (A) the repeated use by one or more students of a written, oral or electronic communication, such as cyberbullying, directed at or referring to another student attending school in the same school district, or (B) a physical act or gesture by one or more students repeatedly directed at another student attending school in the same school district, that: (i) Causes physical or emotional harm to such student or damage to such student's property, (ii) places such student in reasonable fear of harm to himself or herself, or of damage to his or her property, (iii) creates a hostile environment at school for such student, (iv) infringes on the rights of such student at school, or (v) substantially disrupts the education process or the orderly operation of a school. Bullying shall include, but not be limited to, a written, oral or electronic communication or physical act or gesture based on any actual or perceived differentiating characteristic, such as race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, socioeconomic status, academic status, physical appearance, or mental, physical, developmental or sensory disability, or by association with an individual or group who has or is perceived to have one or more of such characteristics;" in the CT Statue. So no "Wouth Africa Lottery" is not included. Its also good we don't have a "Reagan" on the BOE and he knows his limits.

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