UPDATE #2 HB 542 on Parental Rights – Kill the Bill

The Senate amendment limits the parent’s objections to “materials,” which is insufficient when an entire course or program is often based upon objectionable materials.

The Senate amendment grants districts arbitrary control over a parent’s constitutional right to “object.” Requiring district approval limits the ability of the parents to object. Without district approval, parents can’t object !! How does this resolve any differences?

Of course, the district will favor their own “materials.” Did the school district in Bedford roll over when parents didn’t like being “Nickeled and Dimed”? Of course not.

So how is it that this Senate amendment resolves anything? The district is biased in favor of their own materials. The parent has the constitutional right to object, not to have his beliefs and opinions questioned, overruled and censored by a district.

The Senate amendment undermines parental rights by very narrowly defining how the parent may object and requiring district approval before a child can opt out. The Senate amendment burdens a parent’s inalienable right of conscience instead of allowing, as the House version allowed, a parent the opportunity to exercise his rights.

NH Families for Education recommends that HB 542 must be killed to protect parental rights.

UPDATE #1: Please write to these Senators on the Senate Education Committee to ask them to SUPPORT THIS BILL.

Nancy Stiles, Chair; Sharon Carson, Molly Kelly, and Russell Prescott.

The HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE will be holding its executive session on HB 542 at 10:15 AM in the LOB 207 on Wednesday March 9, 2011

HB 542 makes the following affirmation under the “Duty of Parents”:

No district shall compel a parent to send his child to any school to which he may be conscientiously opposed, nor shall any district approve or disapprove a parent’s education program or curriculum.

This bill insures that parent’s inalienable rights of conscience are recognized as they have been recognized by the US Supreme court and elsewhere. It places this important principle in a central location in education statute to prevent any confusion.

The HEC email address: ~HouseEducationCommittee@leg.state.nh.us