By Alexa Schwerha
New Hampshire Democrats shot down a bill on Thursday that would have required schools to inform parents about their child’s gender identity, The Associated Press reported.
Senate Bill (SB) 272 would have established a “parents’ bill of rights” that would require schools to tell an inquiring parent if their child goes by a different name or gender that is inconsistent with their enrollment records, its text reads. It was defeated in a 195-190 House of Representative vote on Thursday after Democrats weakened it with several “poison pill” amendments and two Republican lawmakers crossed party lines, the AP reported.
The bill maintained that “parents have a fundamental right and responsibility to direct the upbringing, education, and care of their minor children” and that schools cannot “withhold information about a child,” according to its text. It clarified that “it is a child’s parents who have the responsibility, means, and resources to ensure that a child receives appropriate health care, social support, religious guidance, and moral inculcation to develop into happy and productive members of society.”
Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu had vowed to veto a similar bill in 2022 that would have expanded parental oversight of classroom curriculum and increased ability to sue school officials, but the bill was killed in the state House before reaching his desk, according to New Hampshire Public Radio. He said on Wednesday that he supported the new bill, AP reported.
SB 272 previously passed in the state Senate in March, the AP reported. It cannot be revisited during the current legislative session, as it was voted in the state House to be “indefinitely postpone[d].”
“This will send a message to parents that they must continue, until the next election when they can replace their representatives, to accept that school is a mysterious and secretive black box where they deposit their children, who knows what happens inside that box and who knows what comes out the other side,” Republican state Rep. and House Majority Leader Jason Osborne said of the vote, according to the AP.
Democratic state Rep. Linda Ryan argued that there would be a decrease in public school teachers if the bill were to pass, AP reported.
“If I have to keep a record and call every one of those parents every single time I see Susie and Sally hugging in the hallway, we will never have another public school teacher again,” she said. “I strongly encourage you to go to your public schools and substitute for less than $100 a day and see for your very own self what this bill will do to our public schools and our teachers.”
Sununu, Osborne and Ryan did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.
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