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AFT-NH Legislative Bulletin (2024-21) Veto HB 1312


Tell Governor Sununu to Veto HB 1312

If Gov. Sununu signs HB 1312, teachers need to get ready to send home parental notices about almost every literature, history, social studies, art and music lesson.

This week the New Hampshire Senate voted to pass HB 1312 expanding parental notification requirements through a law originally written for parents who wanted to opt their students out of sexual education classes. HB 1312 is a vaguely written bill that expands the two week opt out notice from topics that include human sexuality and human sexual education to also include any curriculum, program, or course materials that includes mention of sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or gender expression in any class.

With a broadly written bill like this, it will be difficult to determine what specific material outside of biology and health classes need to have the two week parental notification because they mention, even if only in passing, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or gender expression. Because these are all part of the human experience, they are legitimate subjects that come up in history, current events, literature, art and music all the time. Under this law, you could need to provide parental two-week opt out notices for: classic world literature like Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” a unit on the struggle for civil rights for LGBTQ Americans in a US History or government class or reading any story about a family where the parents are mentioned, and their genders are identifiable. The law is actually so broadly written that you could have to notify parents that you were reading about a same sex couple or an opposite sex couple in order to stay in compliance with the sexual orientation portion of the law.

Your action is needed.  The next stop for HB 1312 will be Governor Sununu’s desk. We need you to lend your voices and tell the governor to veto this harmful bill. Tell Governor Sununu to veto HB 1312.

The Senate was supposed to take votes on HB 1665, an expansion of the school voucher program, from 350% to 400% and on the uncertified, “part time” teacher bill but they pushed both of those votes until next week. The Senate will have to vote on both of those bills next week because that is the last day they can vote on deadline bills. After that the House and Senate will either agree to the changes the other body has made to their bills or they will form a committee of conference to try to come to an agreement on them. There is still time to ask your senator to defeat HB 1298 and HB 1665. Please click the link and send a quick request. No to HB 1298 and HB 1665.

And please be sure to take a minute and tell Governor Sununu that HB 1312 would further cause teachers to be unsure about what they can or cannot teach without getting prior permission. It will burden teachers making it harder to present robust lessons in a timely manner. It will also cause a flood of notices about content to go home to Granite State public school parents, most of whom trust and are generally happy with their public schools. They are not looking for an additional torrent of notices from every teacher of every subject and on every lesson.  In the Granite State, our local neighborhood public schools should be focusing on including all kids and not trying to single out any students especially our LGTBQ+ students.

 Thank you for continuing to reach out to your elected representatives.

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