EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


March 28, 2014

Letter: Why does Timberlane fear the free flow of ideas?

To the editor:

The Timberlane School Board is attempting to impose a gag order on its members. It shouldn’t bother me; it’s just a case of the chairwoman letting a title go to her head. She has no authority whatsoever to prevent other duly elected members of the School Board from speaking to their constituents through the press, so what is the concern over a bit of comic grandstanding?

We have a strong Open Meeting Law, an effective Right to Know law and a vibrant local newspaper, The Eagle-Tribune, that is diligent in keeping us informed.

But, still, it does bother me. The attempt to muzzle individual board members being so silly and absolutely unenforceable, it shouldn’t upset me that Atkinson’s own School Board representatives apparently went along with the chairwoman’s petty scheme to aggregate power to herself and to stifle the free flow of information to the board’s constituents. I should just take it as political entertainment.

But, believe me, I am upset. No elected official, if he or she is doing the people’s bidding, has anything to fear from a free and open exchange of ideas and viewpoints. Since Chairwoman Nancy Steenson apparently does fear what some board members have to say, it makes me wonder just whose bidding the chairwoman and her fellow travelers are doing.

William M. Bennett


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