NEA-NH, the ACLU of New Hampshire, AFT-New Hampshire, DEI Administrators Christina Philibotte and Andres Mejia, and others sued Commissioner Frank Edelblut and other state officials challenging New Hampshire’s unconstitutional classroom censorship law, which discourages public school teachers from teaching and talking about race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity in the classroom. The state moved to dismiss this lawsuit and a hearing will be held on that motion on Wednesday September 14, 2022.
NEA-NH has been fighting multiple bills, Moms for Liberty, and Commissioner Edelblut to ensure our students are taught an honest education. It is our shared belief that the banned concepts law unconstitutionally chills discourse on race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, and gender identity in schools and public workplaces and already has had a negative impact on our students’ education.
Following the bill’s passage, NEA-NH heard from countless members that they were confused about what they could and could not teach, and that they feared the repercussions for guessing wrong. On multiple occasions, NEA-NH and other groups sent letters to the state asking for specific clarification about what was not permissible under the law. These letters went unanswered and unacknowledged.
“Teachers are trained and experienced in education and have a duty to set their students up to be successful contributors to society,” said Megan Tuttle, President of the NEA-New Hampshire. “Parents and educators agree that students should learn complete facts about historical events like slavery and civil rights. They agree that politicians shouldn’t be censoring classroom discussions between students and their teachers, and that educators shouldn’t have their licenses and livelihoods put at risk by a vague law.”
NEA-NH knows that the law is so unclear and vague that it fails to provide necessary guidance to educators about what they can and cannot include in their courses, and that it invites arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement—up to and including the loss of teaching licenses.
The lawsuit asks the court to declare the Banned Concepts Act unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment and issue an order barring its enforcement.
The Court will hear the state’s motion to dismiss our lawsuit Wednesday, September 14 at approximately 1:00PM in the U.S. District Court of New Hampshire, 55 Pleasant St. #110, Concord, NH 03301.
There will be no live stream with audio of the event available. If you are able, please attend the hearing in Concord. You can also post message this week on your social media accounts with #TeachTruth reminding your followers what is at stake here in New Hampshire.
You can also vote for NEA-NH recommended candidates in Tuesday’s primary and in November to help safeguard our students’ right to an honest education. More information and case documents are here: https://www.aclu-nh.org/en/cases/nea-nh-et-al-v-nh-commissioner-education-et-al