Dad Sues Nashua School District, Argues Son Should be Able to Play Football
NASHUA — A father is suing the Nashua School District after his son was suspended from playing fall football because he vandalized school property over the summer.
On July 31, the district prohibited Vincent Priore, a 16-year-old junior at Nashua High School North, from participating in fall athletics after he damaged a school athletic field and a city field with his truck over the summer, court documents say.
Lisa Gingras, director of athletics for the school district, issued the suspension after police charged Priore with criminal mischief for the vandalism.
Christopher J. Prior, Vincent’s father, filed an appeal to Superintendent Jahmal Mosley on Aug. 10, but the district upheld the fall athletic season suspension.
“Ms. Gringas could have suspended Vincent for three seasons; however, Vincent took responsibility for his actions and we commend him for taking ownership for his poor decision,” Mosley said.
Mosley’s decision also cited the student athlete behavior expectations in section JJJB of the Nashua district policy.
According to the policy, any violations resulting in a suspension, including vandalism, will result in that student being suspended from extracurricular activities.
Appeals filed to Gringas and the Board of Education in September also were denied.
Priore told NH1 he believes the JJJB policy does not apply to incidents that occur outside of the school year, and therefore, his son should not be suspended from school activities.
While he does not condone what his son did over the summer, Priore said that Vincent has already been “punished up and down,” including a $1,200 restitution that he paid.
Priore said the other students involved in the vandalism did not suffer any consequences with the school because they do not participate in school athletics.
“Immediate action is needed because football season ends in Novermber,” said Priore in court documents. “(The) School Board has violated their own voted policies. Every day that passes is another day of missed sports, which is not fair to the student athlete.”
Priore’s hope is that his son’s suspension will be reversed so that Vincent can return to his fall athletics.
“I spent my last $260 to fight for this Ex Parte order. (I) cannot afford an attorney,” Priore said.
A merits hearing on the lawsuit will be held Friday at the Hillsborough Superior County Court-South in Nashua.