The New Hampshire Senate passed a Republican-sponsored bill on parental rights, a measure supporters contend will guarantee parents more authority over their children’s educational and medical experiences.
The bill, which passed in a 14-10 party-line vote, had been a source of contention for weeks, with Democrats sharply criticizing the GOP-backed measure as an intrusion on the rights of children and families.
The bill, which now moves to the House, would give parents the right to review their children’s educational and medical records, while requiring schools and medical providers to give parents detailed information about their children’s experiences.
It would also grant parents the power to challenge what they view as inappropriate material in school curriculums and grant them the right to opt their children out of certain educational activities.
Critics of the measure argue that it is needlessly restrictive and could prove detrimental to children’s privacy and wellbeing. They also noted that the bill does not ensure that parents are informed about their children’s medical treatments and educational experiences.
Proponents of the bill, however, contend that it is necessary to protect parents’ personal freedoms and ensure that they remain informed about their children’s experiences.
“It is a fundamental right that parents have the power to ensure that their children are receiving a quality education and appropriate medical care,” said Sen. Bill Gannon, a Republican and a lead sponsor of the bill. “This bill is a step in the right direction to guarantee that these rights are protected.”
Opponents of the bill remain unconvinced, however.
“This bill is a clear violation of the rights of children and families,” said Sen. Jeff Woodburn, a Democrat. “It is a step backward in our efforts to ensure that children get quality care and a quality education.”
The New Hampshire Senate has approved a GOP-backed bill granting parents the right to review their children’s educational and medical records, as well as the power to challenge curriculums and opt their children out of certain activities. Though proponents of the measure contend it is necessary to protect parental rights, opponents argue that it is overly restrictive and could potentially harm the privacy and wellbeing of children. The bill now moves to the House for consideration.