Governor Hassan vetoed important legislation affirming the rights of parents in New Hampshire. SB320  provided that no student shall be required to volunteer or submit to a non-academic survey or questionnaire without written consent of a parent or legal guardian. The bill also creates an exception to this requirement for the youth risk behavior survey developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Parents around New Hampshire contacted their representatives and asked them to support SB320.  After seeing many of the invasive surveys given to their children, parents wanted to make sure schools required “informed consent.”

Currently school administrators have to notify parents that surveys will be given asking about their child’s sexual preference, sexuality, drug usage, firearms, etc., will be given.  They must also post the questions on the district’s web site. Unfortunately many parents never receive that notification.  SB320 would require written consent from parents ensuring parents were made aware and that their consent was required.

Bureaucrats from around the state came out to oppose SB320 because as they said, their grant money depended on a large number of students participating.  If parents actually saw the questions on the survey, they might not consent to their children taking it.  In other words, it’s better to keep parents in the dark so the bureaucrats can qualify for grant money.

Legislators in both the House and Senate passed SB320 however it was vetoed by Governor Hassan. You can see how your State Representative and Senator voted on this important piece of legislation here.  Note that in the New Hampshire Senate, the vote was down party lines.  Democrat Senators voting AGAINST parental rights and Republicans voting FOR parental rights.
In the New Hampshire House there was bi-partisan support for SB320.  The only State Reps. opposing SB320 were two Republicans (Terry Wolf- Bedford and Robert Elliott- Salem) and 54 Democrats.

It’s important for parents to know who stands against parental rights and who stands for them. All of the appointed members of the New Hampshire Board of Education voted against parental rights when they officially took a vote against SB320.
This can be found in the notes from the February 2nd Board of Education meeting.

The New Hampshire govern appoints members to the Board of Education.  The Executive Councilors then have to approve them.  Her hand picked appointees voted to oppose parental rights in New Hampshire.  This is why electing a Governor who will stand up for parental rights, is so important.

Between now and November, make sure you are speaking to the candidates for Governor.  Ask them if they will appoint members to the Board of education that will look critically at the federal reforms like Common Core and the Next Generation Science Standards.  Will they appoint board members who support parental rights instead of vote to oppose them?

You can make a difference in this election cycle by making sure the next Governor will work on behalf of parental rights instead of usurp them.

Ann Marie Banfield currently volunteers as the Education Liaison for Cornerstone Action in New Hampshire. She has been researching education reform for over a decade and actively supports parental rights, literacy and academic excellence in k-12 schools. You can contact her at: