UPDATE: Good news! On June 26 Governor Hassan vetoed HB 332.
In New Hampshire, efforts to require parental notification on sexual topics in schools have reached the governor’s desk, as a bill “regarding objectionable course material” passed both houses of the state legislature last week.
HB 332, introduced in April in the House and passed with an amendment in the Senate in May, requires schools to provide advance parental notice of “curriculum course material used for instruction of human sexuality or human sexual education.” The provision was narrowed from the earlier House version that identified “course material involving the discussion of human sexuality or human sexual education.” While the change was an effort to stymie any potential challenges outside of sex ed classes, the potential for spillover remains– and the possibility that course material with indisputable pedagogical value may be culled simply to avoid potential objections is strong.
On June 8, NCAC sent a letter to Governor Maggie Hassan, urging her to veto the bill, stating that HB 332 is likely to "privilege the concerns of parents who wish to shield their children from sexual content over other parents and the professional judgment of educators."
The letter continues:
Although it appears that HB 332 is intended for material used in sexual education classes, the singling out of sexual content as potentially objectionable could open up the door to challenges to other types of educational material, including literature. Titles as varied, valuable, and time-honored as Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl, Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, and most works by William Shakespeare could be flagged for "sexual content."
We hope Governor Hassan makes the right decision and says no to HB 332 in its current form.
View the letter below, or in full screen.
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