Released March 7, 2023
AFT-NH Statement on Parental Rights Bills
CONCORD, N.H.—The following is a statement from AFT-New Hampshire President Deb Howes on HB 10 and SB 272, parental bill of rights bills that would force teachers to violate a basic trust with their students, including those who are LGBTQIA+.
“If we are to preserve trust and a bond between a student and a teacher or any other school staffer—when that student doesn’t have needed support at home—then both the House and the Senate parental bills of rights are harmful. In an ideal situation, teachers and parents should work together to support kids, resulting in important partnerships that have a positive impact on student achievement and well-being. But not every child comes from an ideal situation. If a student looks to a teacher for confidential trust and support—often about their gender identity—don’t make us betray that trust.
“Requiring a teacher to break a confidence, even if the student isn’t ready to have a conversation with their parent, is damaging and wrong. Under these bills, the confusing standard could leave a teacher open to misdemeanor charges, lawsuits or loss of teaching credentials just for listening compassionately and treating a student with respect. Bringing this latest example of K-12 culture wars into the classroom must stop; it erodes trust between students and school staff and ultimately could affect students’ mental health.”
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For further information, please contact AFT-NH President Deb Howes at firstname.lastname@example.org