NATIONAL NEWS

Bill to force schools to inform inquiring parents about transgender children fails in New Hampshire

May 17, 2023, 9:16 PM | Updated: May 18, 2023, 10:44 am

FILE- Advocates for transgender youth rally outside the New Hampshire Statehouse, in Concord, N.H.,...

FILE- Advocates for transgender youth rally outside the New Hampshire Statehouse, in Concord, N.H., in this March 7, 2023, file photo. The New Hampshire House is set to vote on a bill creating a "Parents' Bill of Rights" that would require school officials, when asked by parents, to disclose that a child is using a different name or being referred to as being a different gender. (AP Photo/Holly Ramer, File)
Credit: ASSOCIATED PRESS

(AP Photo/Holly Ramer, File)

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A bill that would have required school officials to disclose to inquiring parents that their child is using a different name or being referred to as being a different gender was defeated Thursday in the New Hampshire House.

The bill had passed the GOP-dominated Senate in March along party lines. But while Republicans hold a razor-thin majority in the 400-member House, Democrats had a one-vote edge in attendance for Thursday’s session.

Democrats passed several “poison pill” amendments to weaken the bill before it was defeated on a 195-190 vote, with two Republicans crossing party lines to oppose it. Rep. Gerri Cannon, a Democrat from Somersworth who was one of the first transgender lawmakers elected in New Hampshire, said her heart was beating faster and faster with each amendment until the final vote.

“I was truly excited,” she said. “I’ve been so upset with what’s going on in this country.”

Many states with Republican-controlled legislatures have In the U.S. House, such a bill was the first legislation that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy formally announced — fulfilling a major part of the GOP campaign platform.

The New Hampshire version sought “to establish a consistent mechanism for parents to be notified of information relating to the health, well-being, and educational progress of their minor children while those children are in the custody and control of the public schools.”

“Now is the time to recognize that parents, not schools, not school personnel, are the parents with all those rights and responsibilities for their minor children,” said Rep. Rick Ladd, a Republican from Haverhill.

The final vote to “indefinitely postpone” the bill means the topic can’t be revisited this session, a scenario that drew an angry response from House Majority Leader Jason Osborne.

“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,” he said.

Opponents have argued that while it may appear benign in detailing many rights already covered by existing state and federal law, the bill would have exposed LGBQT+ students to the risk of abuse at home — a bad idea for young people who are already prone to stress, depression and suicidal thoughts. Rep. Linda Ryan, a Democrat from Nashua and a retired teacher, objected to a provision that would have allowed parents to sue school personnel.

“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.”

Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a similar bill last year that would have required schools to automatically notify parents about students’ sexual or gender identity. Sununu said Wednesday he generally supported the new bill.

National News

Associated Press

Probe finds carelessness caused Jewish student group’s omission from New Jersey high school yearbook

An investigation into how and why a Jewish student group was erased from a New Jersey high school yearbook found the omission was caused by negligence and carelessness, but was not done on purpose or out of malice, the school district announced Wednesday. East Brunswick Public Schools hired a law firm to investigate after the […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Shooting in Philadelphia wounds 7 people, police say

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Seven people were wounded Wednesday evening in a shooting in Philadelphia, police said. The shooting happened just before 6:30 p.m. in North Philadelphia. The victims include a 19-year-old man who was shot in the leg, a 31-year-old woman shot in the hand, a 23-year-old man shot in the buttock, and two women […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Boaters find $1 million of cocaine floating off Florida Keys

MIAMI (AP) — Recreational boaters found $1 million worth of cocaine floating in the ocean off the Florida Keys. Samuel Briggs II, the acting chief patrol agent of the U.S. Border Patrol, wrote about the find in a social media post on X. Briggs posted video Monday night showing the wrapped packages of cocaine being […]

6 hours ago

Associated Press

Police credit New Yorkers for suspect’s arrest in the rape of a 13-year-old girl

NEW YORK (AP) — Residents of a New York City neighborhood were praised for their role in the arrest of an Ecuadorian accused of raping a 13-year-old girl, a crime that the city’s police commissioner said “shocked our entire city.” Christian Geovanny Inga-Landi, 25, was arrested early Tuesday outside a deli in Corona, Queens. He […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

New law requires all Louisiana public school classrooms to display the Ten Commandments

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana has become the first state to require that the Ten Commandments be displayed in every public school classroom, the latest move from a GOP-dominated Legislature pushing a conservative agenda under a new governor. The legislation that Republican Gov. Jeff Landry signed into law on Wednesday requires a poster-sized display […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Survivors of New Hampshire motorcycle crash that killed 7 urge a judge to keep trucker off the road

Relatives and friends of seven motorcyclists who died in a 2019 crash urged New Hampshire officials Wednesday not to allow the trucker back on the state’s roadways. A jury in 2022 found Volodymyr Zhukovskyy not guilty of multiple manslaughter and negligent homicide counts stemming from the June 21, 2019, collision in Randolph that killed seven […]

9 hours ago

Bill to force schools to inform inquiring parents about transgender children fails in New Hampshire