All 10 Democrats on the House Education Committee voted against parents’ rights legislation, continuing the party’s campaign that parents are “too dangerous” to be informed about their own children’s behavior at school.
As a result, the legislation will be presented to the full House without a recommendation next week.
A New Hampshire Journal/coefficient poll taken in February found an overwhelming majority of Granite Staters, including a majority of Democrats, support the tenets of a parents’ bill of rights. That includes the issue raised by House Democrats, whether teachers and administrations should have the right to keep secrets from parents. Nearly 8 in 10 respondents (78 percent) said parents have a right to know about their children’s behavior.
Linds Jakows, with the far-left progressive organization 603 Equality, says parents should be left in the dark.
“Forced outing destroys trust between students & their teachers, & students & their parents,” Jakows said via Twitter. “Our state representatives shouldn’t write laws that require teachers to insert themselves in private family conversations or be sued.”
But supporters of the bill note that there’s no “family privacy” when teachers, coaches, and even custodians know about students’ gender-related behavior at school. How can they when — as in the case of Manchester schools — there is a policy to deny parents information these other adults already know.
“When parents start asking questions, they already have a suspicion there’s something to ask about. It’s not ‘outing’ a particular group of people,” said Education Committee member Rep. Arlene Quaratiello (R-Atkinson) Tuesday. “All this bill asks for is truthful answers to parents’ questions.”
Rep. Linda Tanner (D-Georges Mill) rejected all of the arguments on behalf of parents, dismissing the bill out of hand as “part of a national political movement to disrupt, dismantle, and defame teachers in our public schools.”
And Tanner repeated the claim that schools need to be sanctuaries from dangerous parents. “It’s a bill that forces schools –that could be the safe place for vulnerable kids– into a perilous place by forcing schools to inform parents” about their children’s behavior.
Requiring schools to answer parents’ questions honestly “is not in the best interest of children,” Tanner said.
Tanner was echoing previous statements made by her fellow legislative Democrats.
During the debate over New Hampshire’s parental rights legislation, Sen. Rebecca Perkins Kwoka (D-Portsmouth) said the proposal “opens these children up to a litany of dangers, including hostility, rejection, isolation, and even violence from their parents.”
And according to state Sen. Donovan Fenton (D-Keene), informing parents about students’ behavior regarding sex and gender could result in their deaths. “Legislation like SB 272 can, and will, cause serious, irreparable harm to LGBTQ+ youth, the harm that can end up being fatal for our young citizens.”
But as Quaratiello noted Tuesday, there have been many incidents of teachers sexually and physically abusing students in the past.
“Why is it OK for a school to lie to parents? What kind of a lesson is that?” asked the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry). “Parents love their children. They care about their children and want…best for them. Schools can’t do that.”