Nashua Teachers' Union Press Release on Arming Teachers and Staff


CONTACT: Adam Marcoux, President, Office: 603-888-7544 


NASHUA, NH March 21, 2018 – A little more than a month since the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School, and most recently, the shooting at Great Mills High School in Maryland, the topics of gun control, school safety, and arming teachers and school staff is still an active conversation. Even with the outpouring of opposition from teachers, staff, students, parents, and Union leadership across the country, the push continues. 

“The Nashua Teachers’ Union Board of Directors is completely opposed to arming any of our teachers or staff in Nashua,” said Adam Marcoux, President of the Nashua Teachers’ Union. The vote to oppose arming teachers and staff, which was unanimous, was taken at the NTU’s monthly meeting earlier this week. “Can you imagine sitting at calendar time or doing a read aloud, sitting next to students, with a loaded gun? We came into education to teach and help students, not be armed guards. I can’t think of a single person in the Nashua School District who wouldn’t think twice about helping and protecting students, but asking them to carry a loaded gun is asking too much.” 

Marcoux went on to say, “we as educators need to be armed with books, school supplies, reasonable class sizes, more guidance counselors and school psychologists, current materials and text books, and more support, not side arms. We don’t have the funds for more teachers, para-educators, guidance counselors, and school psychologists, but we can train and arm school staff? That doesn’t make any sense.” 

“We stand in solidarity with our colleagues from AFT and NEA across the country, opposed to arming teachers and staff. Arm us with pencils, not pistols.”

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-12

March 16, 2018 - Bow, NH

What a crazy week!  The snowstorm on Tuesday really tossed a monkey-wrench into our established schedule for town meetings and voting, illustrating like last year the need for greater flexibility in adjusting voting/meeting dates when there is seriously inclement weather.  One might also make a valid case that having had this problem two years in a row offers pretty good reason why NH should consider advance voting or opening up the use of absentee ballots.  But so long as our current Secretary of State, Bill Gardiner, remains in office, no such changes will be forthcoming.  

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-11

March 9, 2018 - Bow, NH

The House made significant progress on its backlog of legislation this week but with snow forcing cancellation of Thursday’s session, a good number of legislative proposals now won’t come up until March 15.  With the deadline of March 22 for bills to go to the Senate, the House has its work cut out for it. 

In a Nutshell   As always there is a mix of the good and the not-so-good in reviewing House actions.  Highlights from the Consent Calendar include legislative deaths for HB 1803 (banning payroll deductions for union dues or any non-governmental entities) and HB 1608 (banning compensation for public employees on leave).  The former would have caused great harm for United Way, AFLAC, etc. along with labor unions, while the latter would violate provisions in many collective bargaining agreements and remove the issue from local control.  HB 1603, authorizing an employee representative on the investment committee of the NHRS did pass, thereby offering at least a small opportunity for voicing the concerns of those who pay into the retirement system and for whom the system exists.  Lastly, a series of bills passed that adding to existing reporting requirements and accountability on the part of public schools.  In and of itself, that may be fine, but it must be paired with the simultaneous rejection of even a modest increase in accountability for home-schoolers or increasing the required percentage of certified or experienced teachers in charter schools.  Then there is also SB 193, which still contains virtually no accountability for home-schoolers or private schools benefitting from public funds.  Just a smidge of inconsistency there!

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-10

March 5, 2018 - Bow, NH

Welcome back to everyone who has been on winter vacation this past week.  Hopefully, you found the break restful and relaxing.  The Legislature has also been on break for the past week, though some committees continued meeting and pushing legislation forward.  This coming week, however, will be a busy one in Concord, especially for the NH House, which will meet three days and confronts a calendar with nearly 400 potential pieces of legislation to be considered.  Nearly two-thirds of these proposals are on the Consent Calendar, where legislation goes that has a unanimous or near unanimous committee recommendation (inexpedient to legislate, ought to pass, etc.).  One vote at the start of Tuesday’s session will dispose of all legislation on the Consent Calendar by approving the Calendar and all the recommendations contained therein.  The only exceptions will be pieces of legislation that individual legislators remove from the Consent calendar for later debate.  Thus, it is likely the House will vote on and discuss/debate over 150 pieces of legislation over the course of three days this week.  So fasten your seat-belts. 

AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin, 2018-09

February 23, 2018 - Bow, NH

This week was a relatively slow week in Concord, and neither the Senate nor the House will convene again until March 6, 2018 (everyone is off for Winter vacation week).  What this means, however, especially for the House, is that there is an oncoming avalanche of legislation heading to the floor.  Between March 6 and March 22, hundreds of pieces of legislation will need to be considered and dispensed with by the House, so there are some long session days impending. 

School Nurse Certification  Yesterday, the House passed HB 1217, which reduces the certification requirements for school nurses.  Proponents of the bill emphasized cost savings to school districts of fewer certification standards to be met by school nurses, while opponents of the bill pointed to the complexities facing school nurses.  Dealing with injuries, chronic illnesses, serving as a resource for psychological issues, all these involve school nurses.  But in NH, we reduce standards to prior levels, rather than render pay more commensurate with more rigorous standards.  And all of our school employees know we do not employ enough school nurses in our schools. The bill now moves to the Senate, which is likely to pass the bill and send it to the governor.