AFT-New Hampshire Legislative Bulletin (2022-018)

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AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin

Action Alert

May 13, 2022 ~ Bow, NH

The harmful “Parental Bill of Rights” HB 1431 which would grant such sweeping rights to parents to be informed of anything and everything their child does while at school that it would take away the child’s ability to have a confidential conversation with a school counselor or discuss a concern with a teacher or other trusted adult at school has one more stop to make before it reaches Governor Sununu. This means we have another chance to stop it! The NH House and Senate passed different versions of this bill. Neither one of them is good for students, particularly LGBTQ students, because it requires that teachers and school staff inform parents of any important information about a child’s health, education and well-being. Among other things, the bill requires reporting on clubs and extracurricular activities as well as if the student requests to be called by a different name or pronoun at school. We know that LGBTQ students are at greater risk of physical or emotional harm if they come from a family who does not accept them for who they are. HB1431 would take away trusted adults at school from LGBTQ students when they might not have a trusted and supportive adult at home.

 Here's how the Committee of Conference process works. This upcoming week is when the House and Senate form committee of conferences and then they will vote on the committee of conference report on the 26th. Obviously, each year the House and Senate pass hundreds of pieces of legislation. This year there were more than 100 on education issues alone. Some bills are defeated, some are put off for study and some pass. When the bills move from one chamber to the other, the bill is once again reviewed. The House and Senate may seek to make changes to the bill.  Once this happens the body the bill started in has 3 options-- they can decide to vote to defeat the bill, pass it with the changes from the other body or decide they want to try to work out their differences in a committee of conference. That is where we are now.  A committee of conference is made up of seven members, four House members and three Senate members. The members must agree on a final version, or the bill is defeated.

AFT-NH is monitoring a couple of the committees of conference but the one we will be most closely following is the committee of conference on HB 1431.

Make no mistake HB 1431 is modeled off the “don’t say gay” bill in Florida, without some of the overt language but with every bit the chilling effect. It also continues the trend of most Republican legislators attacking public education and teachers. Those who supported this bill falsely claim that parents don’t currently have access to enough information to know what their child is learning or doing in public school. We know, and testified, that is absolutely NOT the case. AFT-NH knows that when teachers and parents work together as a team, students thrive because they have support for their learning at home and at school. We strongly believe in productive communication between teachers and parents. Most teachers and parents already connect regularly about student learning, whether through email, phone, text, or an online platform. We don’t need a new law to do this, and we certainly don’t need this sweeping law with the potential harm it brings.

Action Alert   We need you now to let the members of the committee of conference that they need to stand up for LGBTQ+ students and the rights and parents AND children and defeat this bill.

ACTION NEEDED

Let the Committee of Conference Know That You Oppose HB 1431

Click HERE to contact the members of the Committee of Conference.

 

We are at the finish line for this legislative session. Thank you as always for everything you do.

 

 

 

Please continue to check our website at  http://nh.aft.org/ for updates on how we can protect public education, public services, the NH Retirement System, and advance initiatives as we work to continually improve it.

For breaking news and other legislative information, please be sure to like us on Facebook at AFT New Hampshire or follow us on Twitter @AFTNewHampshire to receive the latest news.  Please share this with friends so they can sign up for this bulletin at http://nh.aft.org/.

You can also read written testimony submitted to the legislature at STATE HOUSE NEWS.

NH Retirement Security Coalition The NHRSC will be tracking all bills related to the NH Retirement System and continuing advocacy for our members.  You can find the legislation tracker following retirement bills by clicking on the following link  NHRSC UPDATES.  AFT-NH is a member of the NH Retirement Security Coalition (NHRSC).