NEA-NH believes an educator’s sacrifice should be recognized just as we recognize the sacrifice of our police and firefighters
CONCORD, NH – March 8, 2016 – NEA-NH President Scott McGilvray voiced his disappointment today with the House Finance Committee’s 14-11 decision to recommend killing HB 1475, the Educator Death Benefit Bill.
“Fourteen members of the committee did not think that the family of an educator who gives his or her life defending their students deserves compensation for their sacrifice,” said McGilvray. “That’s just disgraceful.”
“Fortunately, the committee vote is not the end of the road. This week the entire House will have a chance to vote on the bill to provide educators and their families the recognition and security they deserve.”
More and more educators find themselves acting as first responders to horrific acts of violence. New Hampshire has been fortunate thus far, and NEA-NH hopes that this remains the case far into the future. However, should the unthinkable happen, an educator’s sacrifice should be recognized just as we recognize the sacrifice of our police and firefighters.
HB 1475 would provide a death benefit of $100,000 to the family of any public school employee killed in the line of duty. This bill is modeled after the one passed by the New Hampshire Legislature following the murder of Officer Michael Briggs in 2006. Michael’s Law provides a death benefit of $100,000 to the family of any police officer or firefighter killed in the line of duty.
“Representative Pitre, in making his motion to kill the bill, said that it was ‘unnecessary and unfair.’ The 16,000 members of NEA-NH respectfully disagree. This bill is about recognizing the role educators play in the everyday safety and well-being of our students; a role that we take seriously, yet one that is often undervalued by those making our laws,” said McGilvray.
At the beginning of each new school year, educators participate in lockdown drills, and practice fire and other safety procedures. Every school district has specific plans and procedures to handle emergency situations, and in every case the front line employee tasked with student safety is the teacher. This is more than just an expectation of employment – it is a sacred trust between parent and educator. One that begins when the child walks onto a school bus or is dropped off at school, and a parent says to us, “I am trusting you to take care of my most precious child today. Teach her. Care for him. Keep them safe, and return them to me at the end of the day.” From that moment on, educators across the state know what is expected of them, and to a person they keep that promise and guard that trust.
“Should the unthinkable happen here in New Hampshire, an educator’s sacrifice should be recognized just as we recognize the sacrifice of our police and firefighters.”