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Apr 7, 2016 9:21 PM

Parents demand transparency following Pembroke Academy heroin arrest

PEMBROKE- A few dozen parents at Thursday’s SAU 53 Board Meeting wanted to speak out, but most showed up after the public forum was already over.

“It’s very alarming that this is happening and not just with a staff member, it’s students, it’s everywhere it’s in the school so why not talk about it,” said Rachel Tether, a Pembroke mother.

Many upset after Dean of Students Rekha Luther was arrested for possession of heroin on campus back in February. The issue was kept quiet for close to two months.

“Why not use this opportunity as a teaching moment to talk to these kids?” Tether said.

“Allow the students to talk openly about what is going on and what is affecting their lives and what is affecting their lives here at the school, it’s important,” said Christie Rice, a fellow Pembroke mother.

The district board did not discuss the matter Thursday. Earlier in the week the Pembroke School Board also had little to say. A letter that went out this week calls the issue a personnel matter that “did not need to be shared with parents since no students were in danger.”

David Pearl, whose daughter attends Pembroke filed a formal complaint Thursday. He says the law RS-91A does not apply to information that is already public.

“91A did not prohibit them from making the announcement of the arrest on February 17th or shortly thereafter,” Pearl said.

Most parents want to move on, but say situations like this need to be more transparent.

“Maybe there wasn’t a safety issue but nobody knows that because you didn’t say anything and would you have if it wasn’t leaked out to the press?” Tether said.

Luther is currently out on bail. She’s due back in court Monday.

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