LISBON — School employees, students and community members went before the Lisbon School Committee Monday night in support of teachers as contract negotiations continue to play out.

Several attendees asked the committee to consider dismissing Superintendent Richard Green, who was due for a routine performance review and potential contract adjustments. Members of the collective bargaining unit, which consists of Lisbon Education Association union members and other school employees, including counselors, secretaries, cafeteria workers, custodians and bus drivers, recently gave Green a vote of no confidence.

Ninety-four percent of the 110 votes cast by the roughly 200-employee unit expressed no confidence in Green, said LEA President Rick Beaule, a music teacher for Lisbon High School whose contract was recently not renewed by the school district.

During the public comment part on Monday’s meeting, former Lisbon Councilman Norm Albert said dealing with high school administration over the past year has been the worst experience his family has had as Lisbon residents; he recounted alleged failings of administrators concerning his daughter Maggie, a freshman at Lisbon High School with special needs, and his wife, Amy, a high school special needs education technician. Albert said Amy’s advocacy for Maggie and her peers was met by administrators with reassignment to a part of the special education program she had no previous experience in. He called the reassignment “retaliation.”

Albert said Maggie entered high school after making considerable progress socially and emotionally at Lisbon Community School, but in the past several months, she has regressed due to physical abuse in the classroom. He said Maggie was assaulted by another student six times in the past year and suffered further abuse that went unreported by classroom teachers and school administrators. While assaults are reportable, Albert said he was told assault attempts are not.

“I had to get this information from my daughter who didn’t want to go to school anymore,” Albert said.  “… I’m watching my daughter regress from a student who went out and engaged her typical peers, not just her core group … and watching that all fall apart because of the way things have gone down. … It’s culture. Why is this OK? Why are all these complaints about bullying, staff and students, why are these not being addressed? Ask yourself that question, Dr. Green.”


Green did not respond.

Committee members were brought to tears by Albert’s words, Chairwoman Margaret Galligan-Schmoll struggling for composure for several minutes before bringing the committee into executive sessions for personnel matters and for Green’s routine performance review.

When the committee emerged, members took a vote. Galligan-Schmoll and members Len Lednum and Kim Labbe-Poisson voted 3-0 with one abstention, member Laura Craig, to “authorize the Lisbon School Committee chair to issue the superintendent’s contract, terms and conditions as discussed in executive session.”

“The discussion tonight was for evaluation purposes only,” Galligan-Schmoll said. “There were no changes in the language in Superintendent Green’s current contract. The contract will be in effect until 2028.”

The contract was approved last year.

Lednum acknowledged there was confusion among many attendees, who believed the board would be giving an up-or-down vote to continue Green’s employment. “I feel that maybe I let a lot of these people here down because they were given that impression. I don’t know where that impression came from. Maybe the language? … Our emails are blowing up. We hear you. Please understand that. But please also understand what we’re actually doing tonight and not what we’re not doing tonight.”

Related Headlines

Comments are no longer available on this story