You may know that SAU16 lost its focus on academic excellence and is in the midst of a disaster with parents, but did you know about Travis Thompson?
He is the President of the Exeter Regional Cooperative School Board and is also the Chair of the New Hampshire School Boards Association (NHSBA), another organization wrapped up in controversy.
Their track record of opposing parental rights legislation tends to go unnoticed by parents who do not realize that their tax dollars are funneled out of the budget to the NHSBA.
So what does that mean for parents in SAU16? It means that your district is paying dues to the NHSBA, and diverting funds away from the classroom to this lobbying organization. What does the NHSBA do for parents who pay their bills? NOT much. In fact, oftentimes they lobby against parental rights legislation before the House and Senate Education Committee.
Here are a few examples:
2016: HB1231 required school districts to provide advance notice to parents and legal guardians on course material involving the discussion of human sexuality or human sexual education along with drug and alcohol education.
This was “parental rights” legislation that was needed in New Hampshire since many parents have not been notified prior to discussions on these important topics. Who could possibly oppose legislation that supports parental rights? The NHSBA.
2018: The NHSBA sent a model policy to school districts that changed the bathroom policy for transgender and gender non-conforming students and, put all children at risk for sexual assault. There was no mention of concern that the policy could be abused by students seeking to harm other students. The policy also suggested hiding information about their child from parents. This policy exists in many schools throughout New Hampshire.
Unfortunately, a 5-year old girl became a victim of sexual assault based on this new policy according to this announcement from Alliance Defending Freedom;
“The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has announced that it will investigate a complaint that Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys, along with a local family law attorney, filed against the City Schools of Decatur on behalf of a kindergartener who was sexually assaulted in her school bathroom. The complaint explains that the school’s new transgender restroom policy opened the door to the assault of a 5-year-old female student by a boy in the girls’ restroom at her elementary school.”
2021: House Bill 140 was presented to the New Hampshire Education Committee and would create a right for families to sue public school officials that permit bullying — in person or online. The anti-bullying law in New Hampshire had no remedy for parents if their child was bullied, and nothing was done to stop it. If you don’t have highly motivated administrators, some of these cases are being swept under the rug.
There was no private right of action for a student who was harmed because the administrators didn’t follow the law, and failed to protect the student from bullying.
The case of Gauthier v. Manchester School District, 168 N.H. 143 (2015) demonstrated how useless the law was. A female student was assaulted on a school bus. The school principal failed to notify the student’s parents as required by the law.
Eleven days later, the bully assaulted the female student again in the cafeteria, this time causing injuries that required hospital treatment. The mother of the injured student sued the School District for failing to follow the law to protect her child, but the case was dismissed due to the immunity section of the law.
That’s a BIG LOOPHOLE that needed to be closed but the NHSBA opposed it.
The NHSBA OPPOSED these too:
*HB 1231 relative to school district policy regarding objectionable course material. This bill passed in spite of their opposition and now parents can replace objectionable materials at their expense.
*SB 320 relative to non-academic surveys administered to students.. This bill passed in spite of their opposition and now parents must consent to invasive and controversial non-academic surveys given to their children.
School districts across New Hampshire take your tax dollars and then pay dues to the NHSBA. They in turn have fought against your parental rights.
There’s no need to pay dues to the NHSBA. Why not take those funds and use them on necessities? The relationship between the district and the NHSBA sure makes you question, who is really looking out for the parents and students in SAU16?