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New NH Ad Questions What Hassan Knew About School Misconduct Scandal

Maggie Hassan’s husband was principal of a school rocked by sexual abuse allegations, but a new ad wants to know what Hassan knew and when…

Hassan New Polling

A new hard-hitting ad in the New Hampshire Senate race takes aim at Gov. Maggie Hassan’s role in the abuse scandal that took place at Phillips Exeter Academy, a prestigious boarding school in the state.

Hassan’s husband, Tom, was the principal of the school from 2009 to 2015, during which time sexual abuse allegations were made against a teacher at the school, Rick Schubart. When the revelations became public last spring, Hassan, who had already stepped down from the job, issued a statement citing privacy concerns.

“We should have taken additional action to ensure transparency and accountability at that time, and I join Phillips Exeter Academy in apologizing for an inadequate response,” Hassan wrote. “It’s clear in retrospect that we didn’t get that balance right” between privacy for the student involved and taking action against the accused teacher.

Schubart admitted to the misconduct in 2011, when he was forced to move from his on-campus housing, and again in 2015, when he was ultimately banned from the school. None of this was made public until the Boston Globe broke the story in March 2016.

Despite the 2011 admission to Principal Tom Hassan, then-gubernatorial candidate Maggie Hassan included Schubart’s name on her 2012 campaign list of supporters.

Tom Hassan was censured by the academy for his failure to disclose the misconduct.

Today’s ad from Granite State Solutions questions Hassan’s involvement and what she knew at the time.

“Well, I sensed something was wrong because of the teacher’s abrupt departure from the school… I didn’t know, and I didn’t have information that I could pass on,” Hassan says to reporters in the ad.

“But your husband was the principal of the school at the time,” one reporter notes.

The ad concludes, “How could [Maggie Hassan] not have known” about the misconduct?