Homeland Security Involved in Arrest of Person Refusing to Wear Mask at NH School Board Meeting

By Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano
Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.
December 1, 2021 Updated: December 1, 2021

First, a Sunday school teacher and now a licensed electrician have been arrested for refusing to wear masks at school board meetings in New Hampshire.

New information, obtained by The Epoch Times, shows that Homeland Security was involved in one of the arrests.

Nolan Pelletier, who is also the chairman of the New Hampshire Libertarian Party, was charged with criminal trespass for refusing to wear a mask at the Timberlane Regional School District Board meeting in Plaistow on Nov. 20.

Pelletier was scheduled to be arraigned on Nov. 29 but won a continuance in his case.

In September, six parents with children in the Governor Wentworth Regional School District (GWRSD)—based in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire—were charged with criminal trespass, obstructing government operations, and disorderly conduct for refusing to wear masks at a Sept. 13 school board meeting.

Wolfeboro police, however, chose not to arrest them and issued summons instead.

Just three days before Pelletier’s arrest, Kathleen Bossi, who was arrested in May for not wearing a mask at a meeting of the same school board, was arraigned on charges of disorderly conduct and criminal trespass.

Bossi, who has grandchildren in the district, is now awaiting a trial date.

Her arrest came after an exchange of emails between various law enforcement agencies over concerns about social media posts regarding parents’ opposition to a mask mandate recently implemented as part of students’ return to the classroom from remote learning.

The emails were obtained by The Epoch Times.

They show that the first of the emails came from the New Hampshire Information and Analysis Center (NHIAC), a liaison agency between the state’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security and Emergency Management, alerting local and state police to a “possible protest” of the school’s new mask mandate at the board meeting that night.

According to its website, the NHIAC was established “as an all-crimes/all-hazards counter-terrorism information and analysis center that provides strategic and tactical information directed at the most serious threats to the state of New Hampshire and its people.”

As part of his email to local and state police Scott Petrin, of the analysis center, attached an email sent from a woman who said the anti-mask parents were making heated and violent comments on social media and likened them to the Jan. 6 insurrection on the U.S. Capitol.

The woman included a screenshot of one of the posts, in which a person wrote that parents need to remind school officials “who they work for.”

“Remind them who they work for” was a mantra of the insurrections at the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol,” the woman wrote.

Following the NHIAC email, police asked for backup to the two units the school had hired for the meeting.

Just a few hours later, police arrested and handcuffed 57-year-old Bossi shortly after she entered the school building without a mask. 

She told police that they were violating her civil rights.

Bossi she was overwhelmed by the police presence outside and inside the building.

Upon her arrival, she said, there were at least nine police cruisers in the parking lot, including two state police vehicles.

Another video shows police threatening to arrest David Kiley for trying to enter the same meeting without wearing a mask.

However, Kiley, who also has children in Timberlane’s school district and opposes the mask mandate for students, avoided arrest when police shifted their focus on to Bossi.

Kiley said at the time of Bossi’s arrest, and the threat of his arrest by police, that the school board had no mask mandate policy that pertained to the general public.

The only policy in place was a mandate that pertained only to students and faculty.

The district did later adopt a policy, in August, to include visitors in those required to wear a mask on school property.

Prior to Pelletier’s arrest, the school board had issued a memorandum warning that anyone who violated the mask requirement would be subject to charges of criminal trespass and removal by police.

The board’s chairman Kim Farah had requested police charge Pelletier with criminal trespass, just before he was arrested.

Months earlier Farah had made local news as a Danville selectman for walking out of a board meeting after audience members refused to mask up.

She was later unseated by a write-in candidate.

Farah did not return requests for comments by The Epoch Times.

Pelletier had been given the opportunity to sit maskless in “the disability section,” an area that is located a significant distance from the school board.

He said he thinks it ridiculous to ask someone without a disability to sit in such a section.

Kiley said the massive size of the meeting venue underscored how ridiculous it was to require those in attendance to wear a mask.

The school board meetings take place at the Timberlane’s Performing Arts Center in Plaistow. The 938-seat theatre is the largest school auditorium in the state. The board sits on the stage, which is elevated and away from the audience seating area.

Videos of Pelletier’s arrest show the majority of the seats in the auditorium were empty at the time.

The GWRSD school board also meets in the district’s large high school auditorium.

Jessica Williams, one of the Wolfeboro parents who was cited on criminal charges for not wearing a mask, has started a GoFundme campaign to raise money for her and the other parents’ legal fees.

The fundraiser has received more than 90 donations totalling $14,000.

SAU49 represents the New Hampshire towns of Brookfield, Effingham, New Durham, Ossipee, Tuftonboro, and Wolfeboro.

School officials did not return a request by The Epoch Times for comments for this story.

Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.