New Hampshire says parents get the final say in what their children learn. Critics say that leaves teachers catering to many different opinions.
(Image source: BEFNH.org ) BY MEREDITH BALDWIN ANCHOR ANA COMPAIN-ROMERO You’re watching multisource global video analysis from Newsy. In New Hampshire-- if you don’t like what your kid is learning about-- just pull them out of class. A contributor for Sea Coast Online says New Hampshire House Bill 542 gives parents quote “unprecedented powers” over their children’s education. “...Specifically, the law (a) allows parents to file an objection to any course material, (b) requires a school district to devise an alternative acceptable to the parent, and (c) the alternative must enable the child to still meet state requirements for education in the particular subject area of the objection.” The bill originally passed through the legislature last year-- but democratic Governor John Lynch vetoed the measure. Lawmakers recently overrode that veto. A contributor to The Concord Monitor touches on both sides of the argument. “…let me emphasize the critical importance of parental input in their child's education... [but] our public schools already provide lines of communication for parents… to request changes to school policies...” So where does the line get drawn between parental input and ala carte curriculums? A reporter for Russia Today says-- this bill really blurs that distinction. “New Hampshire’s government is totally okay with parents picking and choosing their child’s courses and putting them together like a Lego set. And then placing the own-ness on the school to bend for their every whim.” And The New York Times highlights another concern of those who oppose the measure. “Should parents who are members of the Ku Klux Klan be allowed to create a special public school curriculum for their child that suggests that extension of voting rights to black Americans was a mistake?” Finally-- anchors for Boston’s WFXT argue-- it’s simply unrealistic to tailor education topics for each individual student. “At some point, somebody needs to say ‘Hey! This is what we’re teaching, this is the curriculum and here we go.’ But no body wants to do that because everybody wants to make sure everybody’s happy and little Johnny’s not offended.” If parents decide they don’t their child to learn certain things, teachers are responsible for creating the alternative lesson plan. Any costs that come with the new lesson plan -- like another textbook-- will be billed to the parents.