Based on this article in the Manchester Union Leader, I filed a Right-to-Know Request with the Superintendent in Merrimack.   Please see the e-mails below:

September 4, 2018
FROM: Ann Marie Banfield

Dear Superintendent Chaifery,

Based on this article in the Manchester Union Leader, your school district is actively engaging students in social and emotional learning (SEL) Second Step .  In accordance with RSA 91-as a Right to Know Request, I am requesting the following information:
1) The name/link to the vendor who is providing the materials for screenings, and treatment for children who are then diagnosed “in need of treatment.” 
2) Provide the policy that then states how each child’s data will be secured. 
   a) What happens to that data once a child leaves the school district? 
   b) What happens to that data if the vendor files bankruptcy?  
   c) Is this data ever destroyed? IF so, by whom? 
3) Provide the peer reviewed/independent research on any program used to diagnose or treat SEL issues?  I’m not looking for biased research provided by the vendor, but actual independent research that shows the effectiveness of the program. 
4) Who administers the screenings in the school?  Their credentials and license? 
5) Who then administers the treatment if a child is flagged for needing the additional support/ treatment?  Their credentials? 
6) What is the percentage of false/positives that accompany the screenings?  
7) What happens if there is a false/positive?  Who is involved ? Their credentials? 
8) Provide a copy of the contract between the school district and the SEL vendor. 
9) Provide a copy of ALL questions that are asked to screen students in your school district for every grade level. 
10) Provide a copy of the permission slip sent to parents/guardians requesting their consent to screen or assess their child on SEL.  What, if any, information did you provide to parents on the vendor who is providing this service? 
11) Did the school board members vote to approve of mental health screenings for all students? If so, when did that vote take place? 
12) Did the legal team provide any details on the possibilities of a malpractice lawsuit or something similar, that could arise if a child who is being treated by the school district, acts out in a violent way or harms themselves or others? If so, what kind of information was provided to the administration and/or school board members? 
13) Is the SEL program being provided though a grant or is there any financial compensation to the district ? If so, what are the details? Was it provided free of charge?  
14) Since children become research subjects, have their families been offered any sort of compensation?  If not, why not? 
15) Are copies of all assessments sent to parents so they can review what is being asked of their children?
16) Provide the ethical guidelines the district currently uses when conducting research on children and/or assessing their mental health.
17) What are the current school board policies addressing mental health screenings/treatment in the school ?
18) What are the current school board policies guiding research on students ?
Ann Marie Banfield
Education Liaison, Cornerstone Action 


September 7, 2018
Dear Ms. Banfield:

I acknowledge receipt of your 18 requests for information, portions of which seek documents under NH RSA 91-A.  We will review your requests and provide any documents which are responsive, but I want to clarify that the Merrimack School District is not conducting any screenings of students nor are we providing any treatment.  “Second Step: is one of two programs that are being piloted at our elementary schools to help students learn appropriate social and emotional skills.  All students in those schools are participating in the programs.

We anticipate that it will take us approximately 30 days for our office to conduct the research necessary to determine the extent to which we have documents that are responsive and not exempt under 91-A:5, and then produce them.  I will contact you when these records are ready for your review and inspection.  Please note that if you would like copies of any records, the District charges 25 cents per page for photocopies.  The balance of the requests for information will be answered in the usual course, and if possible, in conjunction with our provision of any responsive documents.

In the meantime, our School District policies are available to you online at


Marge Chiafery

Superintendent of Schools

Merrimack School District

36 McElwain Street

Merrimack, NH 03054

603/424-6200, 603/424-6229 FAX

September 26, 2018
Dear Mrs. Banfield-I am in receipt of your September 4, 2018 email and accompanying questions, which I am happy to answer regardless of your invocation of RSA 91-A.  Before answering each question, below, I must begin by addressing several inaccurate assumptions that form the basis of the submitted questions.

First, the Merrimack School District engages in no screenings, diagnoses or “treatment” with regard to students’ Social/Emotional (SE) health.  The only exception to this is in individual instances involving students on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) related to SE health.  In such cases, parents are fully informed, are full partners in any decision, and, as such, have provided consent per the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Consequently, the answer to many of the submitted questions will be some form of “does not apply.”  Second, and of major importance, the Merrimack School District (MSD) is piloting two programs that support social emotional learning.  Based on the framework outlined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL), the two piloted programs (Second Step and PATHS) identify five core competencies:  self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making.  In the context of supporting students’ “readiness to learn,” these programs, currently piloted, are designed to provide explicit instruction in these five core competencies that serve as the foundation for success in the school setting and beyond.  Third, the New Hampshire Union Leader article to which you refer made an unintentional but critical error in its reporting:  the Second Step program is currently being piloted at multiple schools in the Merrimack School District, as is the PATHS program.  Since the district is still in pilot phase, no decision has yet been made concerning what will be “in place” next year, if any.  We have been, and will continue to be, methodical in our research and in the application of research into practice, always with full board knowledge and consent.  Fourth, since the Union Leader article alternates between reporting on the work of the Merrimack School District and the Laconia School District with regard to the issue of students’ social, emotional and behavioral health, it is possible to conflate the specific and distinct ways each district has chosen to address it.  Let me be clear: while we applaud the work of the Laconia District as it endeavors to address its needs in the long tradition of local control in our state, the Merrimack School District has chosen a different path in that same tradition.  Any assumption that the Merrimack School District engages in “screenings,” perhaps because the Union Leader article describes the Laconia district’s decision to conduct them, is entirely inaccurate.  Both SE programs being piloted in Merrimack are curriculum-based and include no screening, no diagnoses and provide no treatment.  Finally, it is worth recalling that the Union Leader article appeared as part of its Beyond the Stigma series which explores “solutions to the state’s addiction and mental health challenges.”  Those of us dedicated to serving public school students in our state, including those facing real and deeply impactful social and emotional challenges with a direct bearing on their readiness to learn, are grateful for all constructive dialogue concerning ways that we can continue to serve our students and prepare them for future success.

With regard to your specific requests, the Merrimack School District responds as follows; please note that Student records are exempt from disclosure under the Right-to-Know Law (RSA 91-A:5, III) and are deemed confidential under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 USC 1232g:

  1. Second Step and PATHS are tier one, social and emotional learning (SEL)/ programs that explicitly define social and emotional learning skills for students to be taught by classroom teachers on a daily basis.   Alongside other content areas (reading, writing, math etc.), the SEL programs (Second Step and PATHS) teach SEL skills within the context of specific lessons and structured activities.   No screenings or assessments or treatment are included in either of the district’s piloted curriculum-based programs.  The vendor for Second Step is Committee for Children,   The PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies) program is trademarked and sold through Channing Bete.
  2. As the Merrimack School District is not screening or assessing students in the social and emotional learning area no student level data is collected.
  3. Second Step and PATHS are social and emotional skills based programs that are taught for all students (core instruction, tier 1).  This is not a program to diagnose or treat SEL issues or concerns.    Research on the effectiveness and the quality of these programs can be found on the CASEL Website at:   Below are other links that provide research on the correlation of social and emotional learning to academic achievement and preparing students to be college and career ready.
  4. As stated previously, there are no social and emotional screenings connected with either of the piloted curriculum-based programs.    Concerns about individual students’ social and emotional learning needs, within the context of a child’s school day, is addressed confidentially with the parents/guardians and appropriate school staff.

5-7.      Since there are no screenings or assessments connected to either of the piloted curriculum-based programs, students are not flagged for needing additional support.  Consequently, any question concerning false/positives and credentials does not apply.

  1.        In the area of curriculum and instructional program purchases the District follows a specific process to vet, research, and gain approval for the purchase of instructional materials and programs that impact the learning of all students.   As with other curriculum-based programs and materials, any potential SEL program materials that would be purchased at the conclusion of the pilot would not require a contract with a vendor.
  2. No screenings or assessments are conducted in the Merrimack School District relative to SEL and no screenings or assessments are part of either curriculum-based SEL program currently being piloted in the Merrimack School District.
  3. Since there are no screenings or assessments connected with Second Step or the PATHS learning programs, any question of permission slips for this purpose do not apply.   The Merrimack School District does send home parent letters updating families on the skills taught as part of the Second Step and/or PATHS programs.  These letters are educational records and are exempt from disclosure under RSA 91-A and FERPA.
  4. The Merrimack School Board has provided approval to pilot Second Step and PATHS in our elementary schools.  There are no mental health screenings that correspond with these programs.   Second Step and PATHS focus on five core competencies/skills that are focused on preparing students to be college and career ready.  As noted in the research link below, the business community has noted that these skills are essential for workers entering their workforce.
  5. The Merrimack School District does not engage in SEL screenings or treatments.
  6. The Merrimack School District is currently piloting two curriculum-based SEL programs.  If and when a recommendation is made concerning adoption of one of these two piloted programs, any associated cost will be built into the proposed district operating budget, vetted by the school board, and voted on by the town.  The MSD receives absolutely no financial compensation from this or from any other vendor of resources under consideration for adoption.  Should a recommendation for adoption of one of the two piloted programs be made, the cost associated with the proposed adoption will be thoroughly discussed with the school board who, of course, will make the final decision concerning inclusion in the operating budget.
  7. The students are not research subjects as the skills that are being taught in the context of the two curriculum-based SEL pilot programs are presented within context of classroom instruction for all students and not selected students.
  8. Since there are no assessments or screenings related to either curriculum based SEL program currently being piloted, no such communication is either required or necessary.
  9. The Merrimack School District does not and will not conduct research on children in the area of mental health.  Similarly, the district does not and will not assess students in the area of mental health.  The only exception to this is in individual instances involving students on an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).  In such cases, parents are fully informed, are full partners in any decision, and, as such, have provided consent per the requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  Thus, any documents in the possession of the district are student records that are exempt from disclosure under RSA 91-A:5, and confidential under FERPA.

17-18.    Since the Merrimack School District does not provide mental health screening and treatment to students in the schools, except in cases involving students on an IEP related to SE health, no such policies exist or are applicable.

Research Links – Research on Promoting Positive Youth Development through School-based Social and Emotional Learning

CASEL press release on the study – Description from CASEL on Second Step and PATHS design and lessons taught

Report on integrating SEL skills and College and Career Readiness Standards – Bureau of Student Wellness – NH DOE

Marge Chiafery

Superintendent of Schools

Merrimack School District

36 McElwain Street

Merrimack, NH 03054

603/424-6200, 603/424-6229 FAX

November 28, 2018

Marge Chiafery, Superintendent of Schools;

I appreciate your response that you have provided and appreciate the open dialogue about data collection and social, emotional, and behavioral programming (SEL) in the state of New Hampshire. After reading the regulations for FERPA, it appears that personally identifiable information (PII) collected at the local school district level in the state of New Hampshire (i4See Data Collection system) can be shared without parents knowing about it. Knowing that social, emotional and behavioral programming is being initiated in the state, I believe the sheer magnitude of sharing sensitive, personal, and private data brings the legal issues of privacy, safety, and security to the front of my concerns. I’m sure you would agree.

Although it appears that schools and the New Hampshire Department of Education tell parents and communities that the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. §1232g, is a Federal Privacy law designed to protect the privacy of students’ educational records. Regrettably, regulations were changed without Congressional authority where data mining of our children is permitted for research and development without the knowledge and consent of the parents. I believe it is important that parents are informed about this loophole in the regulations. Protecting children and families should be of utmost importance particularly if children are being used as research subjects. When you stated in your letter, “We have been, and will continue to be methodical in our research and in the application of research into practice….” your comment sheds light on exactly what is happening in our classrooms…methodical research into practice.

Professional ethical protocols require informed consent when researching, assessing and treating subjects.  In this case, children would need their parents or guardians to consent. Ignoring these ethical boundaries would result in forfeiture of license in the private sector. ( Section 9 Assessment).

IRB approval is contingent on having a protocol which includes the data will be stored and secured. Parents need to see how their child’s personal data has been secured and the protocol if the data are compromised. IRB also requires individuals with diminished autonomy be entitled to protection, and that individuals enter into research voluntarily with adequate information. Children do not have the capacity to make those decisions, therefore, ethically, parental consent would be required. ( Summary of the Belmont Report)

Referring to your comment about FERPA, this very issue must be discussed and protections provided to students knowing that FERPA was weakened allowing PII to be distributed to 3rd party vendors without the knowledge or consent of parents. Knowing  that private and sensitive information is collected on New Hampshire children through the pilots and experimental programs of SEL to see if the data-based programs and interventions “work,” it would be in the best interests of parents and citizens to know that this private information is being shared and used to develop and/or create mental health curriculum to change the values, attitudes, and dispositions of New Hampshire children.

At first glance, your return letter appears to lead one to think that no social, emotional, or behavioral/mental health research or data collection is being done in New Hampshire. But further inquiries have directed my attention to the fact that many SEL grants and research projects were not only performed in New Hampshire, but we were in fact a leader in the implementation of many SEL research projects. New Hampshire schools have redirected the purpose of school, and the primary focus is not on academics. I have noted that New Hampshire is an Innovation Lab Network State in the implementation and forward movement of Common Core affective/non-cognitive/non-academic standards in the country. Teacher training in SEL is a vital portion of this movement. With this in mind I have several more questions that I will need clarified since your reported information conflicts with my research.

According to New Hampshire ESSA application and the grant from IES to expand our state longitudinal data system, New Hampshire is very much involved in collecting personally identifiable data with the merging of all data from all departments. The “Performance Tracker” and the teacher management dashboard appear to contain arbitrary teacher-collected personality traits in a student education record. It would appear that this is a violation of privacy rights and the Protection Of Pupil Rights Amendment. The fact that the private data released because of the weakened FERPA expands my concerns that psychological/mental health data collected and released to third party vendors include social, emotional, and behavioral data not in the realm of academics and is being shared without the knowledge of parents. We must clarify this issue immediately. With this in mind could you please answer the following groups of questions:

  1. Please answer my concerns about SEL collected data in the classroom:

  1. Does a teacher data management dashboard contain SEL sensitive and personal information about the personalities of New Hampshire children?

  2. Is this data logged and connected to the state longitudinal data system?

  3. Is FERPA being used for outside researchers, non-profits, universities, and/or businesses to access our children’s records?

  4. Is SEL data shared for research? Who receives it?

  5. Are you aware of any written agreements, MOU’s or contracts with 3rd party vendors or researchers that have access to these data files? Could you please remit them?

  6. Have you signed any FERPA written agreements, MOU’s, or contracts with outside vendors, researchers, universities, or foundations? Could you please remit them?

B.  An early grant, 2012, to New Hampshire from the Office of Special Education Programs Grant No. H323A070028, begins this process of Response To Intervention to train the teachers in “professional development and continuum of services” in the 3 tiers of universal screening for ALL children in SEL interventions. You state in your return letter, “parents are fully informed, and are full partners in any decisions”, yet it appears parents were not informed that their children would be receiving special education behavioral conditioning.

  1. Since ALL children are used in the universal screening, are we to assume that ALL children are receiving special education services? Are all children assumed disabled since RTI, Response To Intervention, is used for an entire school?

  2. Is Title I SchoolWide being used as the legal premise to access ALL children under the “universal intervention” process of RTI, PBIS, or MTSS? If not, what authority does the school have to access children who are not identified as special education?

  3. Exactly when are parents of truly special education students notified by law under IDEA especially when their child should not be included in these RTI/PBIS/MTSS special education universal services prior to their IEP evaluations?

The CASEL FRAMEWORK Competencies you refer to in Second Step and PATHS are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision-making skills. You replied to me, “These currently piloted programs serve as a foundation for success as pilots in multiple schools.” Let ME be clear: The PATHS program is grounded in social and emotional learning (SEL). The information explains that SEL helps children: resolve conflicts peacefully, handle emotions positively, empathize, and make responsible decisions.

When debate arose among House Education Committee members regarding assessing competencies, both Republicans and Democrats agreed, they did NOT want schools measuring subjective dispositions.  However, it appears measuring dispositions is what SEL is all about now. Competency Based Education in New Hampshire has morphed into an SEL education model, opposite of what legislators first supported.

These vague and subjective objectives are difficult to measure and difficult to decipher if a particular personality trait has been identified for change. Remediating “sticky” non-academic areas of personality could be defined by different people in different ways.

C.  Please explain to me how these goals are measured for improvement in these two programs.

  1. What techniques are used in the SEL programming that would target a specific emotion, for example, emotion regulation?

  2. How are teachers differentiating treatment for being unhappy? anxious? fearful? or stressed? What type of interventions are used for each emotion?

  3. How are teachers recording these emotions?

  4. Decisions that teachers are making on children about their feelings and emotions appear to be arbitrary. What is the protocol for advancing a child into a Tier 2 level? Tier 3 level?

  5. What are teachers doing to intervene in these emotions?  Should children be expected never to show any emotion? What happens to a sensitive child?

  6. How can teachers be sure these interventions do not spill into other human emotions like pain, anguish, disappointment, elation, sadness, anger, anxiety, love, hate, or fear? Is showing a strong emotion like, “I hate strawberry ice cream,” positive or negative? Should kids be forced to love strawberry ice cream?

  7. How can teachers decide what is the difference in how a child might show extreme emotional sensibilities? How does a teacher know that a child is shielding their feelings or lying?

  8. Should emotions and feelings that make us human be addressed as a mental health treatable disease?

  9. What is the standard for behavior change in emotion regulation, for example how much is too much or not enough intervention?

  10. How are teachers to gauge the intervention? What is the protocol for more intervention?

  11. Who decided what particular intervention would be for a particular child?

  12. Should every child be forced to make the same “responsible” decisions as other children in the class? Who decides?

  13. Are opposing decisions allowed or is there only one proficiency standard in SEL?

  14. How are these objectives taught if personal goals and parental taught beliefs are different from the standard? Should students be forced to change?

According to your reply you state that SEL PROGRAMS include, “no screenings, no diagnoses, and provide no treatment.” I disagree. Many contracts that I have retained say the opposite of your claims. For example, in contrast to your response to my letter of Sept., 2018, grants between SAMSHA and Antioch University called Project AWARE, and others, including Safe School, Healthy Students, GROW, New Hampshire Department of Education (NH DOE) Bureau of Special Education, and New Hampshire Office of Student Wellness, teachers are specifically being trained to implement behavioral/ mental health collection and behavioral/mental health interventions.  The contracts are very clear that the concept of social, emotional, and behavioral learning is completely mental health. The contracts specifically state that funds are used to build an effective and sustainable infrastructure for statewide cadre of trainers and coaches to support implementation of fidelity in “implementation science.” Thus it appears that these techniques are being described as intervention behavioral supports used throughout New Hampshire. This is opposite of your reply to me.

D.  You insist that social and emotional skills based programs are taught to all children universally in a Tier I concept. Taken from your reply, “This is not a program to diagnose or treat SEL issues or concerns.” However, the contracts are very clear that this Tier 1 mental health program identifies children and uses this level of screening to refer children to Tier 2 and to Tier 3 as “Intervention Integrity.”

  1. Please clarify why your reply omits these practices as universal screening on ALL CHILDREN using Tier 1, and a recycling system of more intensive interventions for Tier 2, and Tier 3 using the techniques sometimes called Response to Interventions, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, and/or Multi-Tiered Systems Of Support.

  2. Are these programs considered mental health? If not, what do you consider them when the project states that they are mental health?

  3. Is this not identifying children with mental health or behavioral problems where

     private and sensitive data is collected on a child?

  1. Please explain Intervention Integrity.

  2. Please explain why your reply conflicts with the NH grant.

  3. Please clarify why there is no information or transparency given to parents about data collection and mental health interventions.

Your comment that, “students are not flagged for needing additional support” doesn’t appear to be true. It appears the  school district has not been up front with parents. Their children are being used for research. Data is being collected on personality traits and mental health behaviors.

F.  Please refer to the following quotes taken from the Antioch University grant about the implementation of the SAMSHA Project AWARE  grant:

“Implementation of a Multi-tiered System of Supports

Implementing NH’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports for Behavioral Health and Wellness (MTSS-B) is an important part of the strategy in each LEA to improve school safety, climate, and behavioral supports in PA. MTSS-B uses a systemic framework for integrating school behavioral health practices across all school levels. The MTSS-B model blends research-based school mental health practices with the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework outlined by the U.S. DOE’s Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP; see PBIS is an evidence-based, multi-tiered prevention approach that teaches school-wide behavior expectations at the universal level (Tier 1), offers targeted group support for at-risk students (Tier 2), and provides intensive, individual services for the highest-need students (Tier 3).

We emphasized MTSS-B fidelity assessment this year. Fidelity has to do with intervention integrity – the degree to which a practice is implemented in a way that is faithful to the guiding model. Implementers tend to unwittingly “drift” from an intervention model in the absence of fidelity assessment. Assessing fidelity also helps make sense of outcomes. For instance, if project outcomes are poor, but fidelity is strong, we would tend to suspect that other factors were the prime contributors to the disappointing results (Schoenwald, Garland, Chapman, Frazier, Sheidow, & Southam-Gerow, 2011). We encouraged PA LEAs to assess implementation at all three tiers of the PBIS framework, to encourage adherence to the model and support reflection and quality improvement. We have reported our initial fidelity assessment results in the Findings and Results section, below.”

Source: p. 18.

Based on what the Merrimack district is doing in terms of SEL:

  1. What criteria are used to determine improvement of students in social, emotional, and behavioral techniques?

  2. How are teachers monitored that they are doing the “right” interventions?

  3. What does “faithful to the guiding model” mean?

  4. If teachers are “drifting” from the Model, how can you be sure that no damage is being done to children?

  5. What happens to teachers if they are NOT “faithful to the guiding model?”

  6. What are the risks involved for this experimental mental health conditioning to fidelity? What do you think a disclosure should say to parents about risks involved?

  7. Are teachers comfortable implementing techniques that change behavior/personalities outside of their subject area certification??

  8. Are these programs initiated without giving parents full disclosures of risks involved?

  9. What if parents disagree with these programs?

  10. Why weren’t parents told about the impact on their children’s lives or given a choice?

When you raise the issue that “credentials do not apply” in your written reply concerning implementation of social, emotional, and mental health programming, perhaps the issue of truth, fairness, and transparency would be most important to the parents.  Perhaps we should also ask if it’s legal to access our children for psychological experimental research.

  1. When teachers are being trained in “fidelity” to identify, track, and implement 3 tiers of mental health behavioral conditioning with NO written permissions and NO disclosures of the dangers involved, have any teachers questioned the appropriateness of these programs?

  2. Are teachers able to opt out of the professional development in RTI, PBIS, OR MTSS?

  3. Why has this experimental research been approved behind marketing policies  where parents were not given critical information?

  4. Is this parent engagement or are you overriding parental influence and creating a psychological dossier for each child?

  5. How do you know that these behavioral techniques are being applied appropriately?

  6. Are teachers certified to identify children with serious mental health issues and then implement interventions without a professional license?

  7. Why are parents not told about the mental health techniques used in the classroom?

  8. These experimental teacher in-service  techniques appear to be glossed over with marketing “parent engagement” propaganda. Please explain why this step in protecting our children has been totally ignored.

  9. How many SEL grants and how many millions of dollars for teacher training SEL programs have been ushered into New Hampshire?

  10. Is it possible to consider that the federal government is collecting Psychometric Dossiers on families, exactly what Facebook is being sued for when using Cambridge Analytica to collect Psychometric Dossiers on Facebook users?

Your comment stating, “Merrimack School District does not and will not conduct research on children in the area of mental health,” is in contrast to multiple grants and contractors doing experimental research in mental health on Merrimack children.

The PBIS teacher training, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports In the Office of Student Wellness describe the three tiered system that envelops ALL children through universal  screening also. The Wellness ToolKit screens and identifies all children to identify more children for intensive intervention through tier 2 and 3. The premise that prevention is used to screen all children for mental health problems is beyond comprehension. Normal children may be tagged with a mental health problem because of over-anxious teachers wanting to perform fidelity to the rules or more. Who knows? Are there protections for teacher overreach?

H.  In all fairness to parents and elected officials, we must ask why this is being done and how it will affect our children in the future.

  1. What sort of coding is being placed on a child’s student education record that would identify a mental health or behavioral condition in an SEL program?

  2. Are DSM V codes used to identify a child with a mental health problem?

  3. Are schools in New Hampshire preparing to bill Medicaid for the social, emotional, and behavioral practices in mental health? Has it begun?

  4. Is this the reason our children are being coded with mental health disabilities?

  5. Will children be coded for serious emotional disturbance as a disability because of the social, emotional, and behavioral programming brought about by CASEL and SAMSHA?

  6. What are the future implications of having a mental health disability on a child’s permanent record?

The recent passage of the amendment to the New Hampshire Constitution states,  “An individual’s right to live free from governmental intrusion in private or personal information is natural, essential and inherent,” and applies to students attending public schools in New Hampshire.

I am also sending these questions  as well as my request for all FERPA written agreements, MOU’s, or contracts, to Commissioner Frank Edelblut, Governor  Sununu, and the Attorney General. I am requesting the names and purposes of the experimental mental health research from all researchers, universities, foundations, or businesses, or others.  My question to them would be to investigate why third party contractors have access and may receive personally identifiable information including personality profiles and personal Social, Emotional, and Behavioral data on our children in New Hampshire WITHOUT informed written parental consent. AND, why these contractors have access to our children in the classroom for experimental research without the knowledge or consent of parents.

I will be looking forward to your reply.

Ann Marie Banfield

Education Liaison, Cornerstone Action



Wellness Innovation:

Wellness ToolKit:

Wellness Checklist:


Dear Ms. Banfield,

Please see the attached response to your Right To Know request of 11/28/18.

Marge Chiafery

Superintendent of Schools

Merrimack School District

36 McElwain Street

Merrimack, NH 03054

603/424-6200, 603/424-6229 FAX

Response to Banfield Right To Know
I am currently waiting for the information requested.
I have also sent a request to the Attorney General and Governor in New Hampshire to begin an investigation. 

You can find that request here

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: