Bedford parent and education advocate Ann Marie Banfield has published an open letter to the state representatives and Senator Andy Sanborn on legislation regarding parental rights.  We publish it in its entirety and encourage your comments and submissions.

From: bankidsmom1 <[email protected]>
To: david.danielson <[email protected]>; bart <[email protected]>; ken.peterson <[email protected]>; repsanborn <[email protected]>; krmurphy1975 <[email protected]>; lgouldr <[email protected]>; andy.sanborn <[email protected]>; terry.wolf <[email protected]>
Sent: Sun, Mar 1, 2015 12:48 pm
Subject: To the Bedford State Representatives/Senator

To the Bedford Representatives and Senator:

In the past few weeks, the House Education Committee has taken up several Bills focused on restoring parental rights. The Committee has listened to testimony from Bedford residents as well as many other people who attended the hearings.

I’d like to call to your attention a few Bills that you will be voting on soon.

HB206 Requires schools to adopt a policy of INFORMED WRITTEN Consent from parents if schools administer a survey/questionnaire (Floor date 3/4)

HB603 Clarifies that NO penalties will be administered if a student opts out of the Common Core Assessments (to be voted on in Committee next week)

HB332 Requires parents to be informed when administering Sex Ed materials (to be voted on in Committee next week)

As elected representatives who are required to uphold the U.S. Constitution it is your duty to affirm and uphold the rights of parents. The Supreme Court has continually ruled and affirmed the rights of parents and the Ninth Amendment recognizes that there are fundamental personal rights that are protected from abridgment by the government.

Invasive surveys are happening in many districts across our state . Some schools are using “passive consent” – that means district heads decide if the survey carries a “risk”. If parents didn’t get notification, or missed it, their child is automatically part of a study or encouraged to take a survey without parental knowledge.

HB206 attempts to rectify this situation by requiring informed written consent from parents before the school can survey their children on personal and invasive questions. Here is the survey that was given to middle school students in Bedford last year. If you have not taken the time to read through all of the questions, I would encourage you to do so.

Rep. Wolf testified in opposition to HB206 at the hearing but it’s important to also know that Bedford parents testified in support. One of the arguments against HB206 came from a gentleman who surveys students in public schools. He argued against passing HB206 because fewer students would participate in the survey if parents were required to consent. In other words, if parents were “informed” the participation rate would fall.

I would like to remind you that as an elected Representative in Bedford, you are to represent your constituents and not a survey company who profits off of homeowners paying the taxes.

It was extremely disappointing to hear Rep. Wolf testify in opposition of parental rights after taking an oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution. My hope is that as we move forward, she will re-examine her position when it comes to parental rights.

The reason for my e-mail is to ask for your support on any legislation that upholds and affirms the rights of parents in New Hampshire. HB206 will be coming to the floor for a vote. I would urge you to vote AGAINST the Amendment proposed by Rep. Wolf and to vote FOR HB206 as originally submitted.

I also ask you for your support on HB603 and HB332 when they come to the floor for a vote.

Parental rights are a fundamental and unalienable right we should all hold dear. This is not a “local control issue” but a fundamental right that should be upheld and affirmed at all levels of Government.

I thank you for your continued service to the residents of Bedford and respectfully ask Rep. Wolf to reconsider her opposition to parental rights on HB206.

Best Regards,
Ann Marie Banfield
Bedford, NH