AFT-NH on Teachers’ Loyalty Bill in NH House

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For Immediate Release  January 18, 2022          Contact: Deb Howes, president@aft-nh.org (603-930-9248)

     

Howes: “This is a case of politicians forcing teachers to cover up honest history.”                                                                                                    

CONCORD, N.H.—The “teachers’ loyalty” bill that will be the subject of New Hampshire House hearings this week is another attempt by extremist lawmakers to give students a censored view of history and bully teachers into silence, AFT-New Hampshire President Deb Howes said today.

“An Act Relative to Teachers’ Loyalty” would ban public school teachers from promoting any theory that depicts U.S. history or its founding in a negative light. It follows the so-called divisive concepts law that prohibits teachers from teaching that any group or person is “inherently racist, sexist or oppressive.” AFT-NH has filed a federal suit calling that law unconstitutionally vague.

Howes, who is scheduled to testify before the House Education Committee on Thursday, said the teachers’ loyalty bill is “beyond the pale.”

“This is a case of extremist politicians forcing teachers to cover up honest history. That’s unfair to students, and it puts teachers in a terrible position of either teaching dishonest history or caving in and not doing their due diligence to give students an accurate look at U.S. history and its founding,” Howes said.

She said the divisive concepts law and the loyalty legislation would have long-lasting consequences for students’ knowledge of reality.

“It’s the job of teachers to give students honest instruction and let them think for themselves about the implications of the subject matter. It is imperative that students receive a quality education that is based on truth, not a shaded view of the world according to extremists,” Howes said.

Bill sponsor Rep. Alicia Lekas was quoted as saying the legislation is needed “because teachers spend too much time indoctrinating students about political things, which I don’t think teachers should be doing.”

Howes responded: “That is absolutely patently false. Teachers teach and then let students make their own decisions about what was taught.”

 

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