JAY — At a special meeting Monday night, Oct. 24, Regional School Unit 73 Board of Directors heard from a concerned parent before expelling two Spruce Mountain High School students indefinitely.

The parent of two soon-to-be students at the high school, Timothy “Tim” Walton of Livermore said he and his wife have enjoyed the support of Superintendent Scott Albert, SMHS Principal TJ Plourde, SMHS Assistant Principal/Athletic Director Marc Keller and School Resource Officer Cpl. Joseph Sage.

“My message is simple,” Walton said. “No child of color or religious faith should be frightened to attend public school in this state or anywhere in the country. Racism at any level or at any age, whether it’s a student, a teacher, coach or school board member should not be tolerated.”

Two Livermore Falls teens were charged Thursday, Oct. 13, with drawing one swastika each in two bathrooms at Spruce Mountain High School and writing a racial slur. A 15- and a 17-year-old were each issued a summons on a charge of criminal mischief, a misdemeanor, Sage said at that time. The students were released to their parents.

This incident, the picture that was seen, just doesn’t belong here, Walton said. “Those kids learned it from somewhere,” he noted. “That’s the community’s problem.

“Your job is to make sure we don’t have that problem in the school,” Walton said. “A 10-day suspension is nothing more than a second. These kids have to go. It has to be a message sent here tonight that this does not belong in school.


“A student of the Jewish faith, or a child of color or mixed race or high percentage African American as my daughter is, should not have to come to school in fear for her life,” he noted. “When you write on the wall, “a common racial slur toward Black people” that only means one thing.

“If you think for a second that Uvalde or today’s shooting in St. Louis or any of those things can’t happen in this school, guess again,” Walton said. “You need a team of school resource officers, a team of administrators, a team of school board members that care to stop it and it ain’t going to be those doors that I just came through that’s going to stop them.

“The next day my daughter has to worry about coming to this school, fear for her life because of her skin color will be the last day she comes to this school,” Walton stated.

Walton appreciated having a unanimous board, something that is rarely seen, he said.

A closed door session lasting about an hour was followed by a unanimous vote to “expel Student A for an unspecified period of time for behavior that was deliberately deceiving and disorderly and for the peace and usefulness of the school and to direct the Superintendent to develop a re-entry plan.”

Regarding Student B, Director Jodi Cordes of Jay abstained with all other Directors voting to expel that student after a second closed door session of about an hour and a half. Part of the motion for this student was changed to “… for behaviors that were…”

Directors supporting both expulsions were Robin Beck, Lenia Coates and Phoebe Pike of Livermore Falls; Holly Morris, Tasha Perkins and Andrew Sylvester of Livermore; and Elaine Fitzgerald, Patrick Milligan, Robert Staples and Chantelle Woodcock of Jay.

Directors Joel Pike and Lynn Ouellette from Jay were absent as was student representative Ava Coates of Livermore Falls.


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