NEW HAMPSHIRE — The Souhegan Cooperative School Board inAmherst is reexamining its yearbook policy after a controversy over the SouheganHigh School yearbook printing portrait photos of two students charged inconnection with a murder.
The controversy, which has many members of the community declaring theiroutrage and has drawn media coverage in New Hampshire and nationally, revolvesaround the school yearbook’s pictures of William Marks and Quinn Glover.Both have been charged in connection with an Oct. 4 home invasion, during which42-year-old Kimberly Cates was murdered and her 11-year-old daughter wasinjured, according to the Associated Press.
School officials have moved the location of tonight’s regular meetingto a bigger room in anticipation of a large public turnout, Board Chair SteveCoughlan said.
Cates’ husband, Dave Cates, called the decision to include thepictures a “slap in the face” to his family.
“This decision shows extremely poor judgment and calls into questionyour ability to make sound day-to-day decisions for the school district,”he said in a letter to Superintendent Mary Jennings, Principal Jim Bosman and the yearbook advisorycommittee.
Jennings and Bosman later apologized in a statement released June 4.
“We want to say that we are extremely sorry that decisions made by ourschool have added to the pain and loss that Dave Cates and members of [the]community feel every day in relation to the death of Dave’s wife and harmto his daughter,” the statement said, according to the Associated Press.
School officials previously told the Union Leader
that the decision followed school policy and involved several people, includingthe families of Marks and Glover.
“Because both students were and continue to be Souhegan High Schoolstudents, their names and photos were included,” Jennings said.”Both boys are receiving educational services whileincarcerated.”
Coughlan said he would not comment on what he expected to come fromtonight’s board meeting, but he said if any policy changes were to bemade, it would not happen immediately.
“In New Hampshire, one of the roles of the school board — oneof the few roles — is to make policy,” he said. “So ifwe’re unhappy with what has happened, the vehicle is to examine ourpolicies and amend them.”
The meeting will include an opportunity for public comments.