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N.H Education Department launches system for parents to lodge discrimination complaints against teachers

Michael Brindley

The New Hampshire Department of Education has launched a webpage to make it easier for parents and students to lodge complaints against teachers for alleged discrimination.

The new webpage comes in response to a contentious new law banning specific kinds of teaching about race, racism, and sexism.

The law, called the Right to Freedom from Discrimination in Public Workplaces and Education, prohibits public school teachers from teaching that one group of people is superior or inferior to another group, or that certain groups are inherently oppressive, among other concepts.

It was passed in a wave of legislation across the country backed by Republican lawmakers and activists who claimed thatCritical Race Theory is being taught in local public schools.

Critics of the law say it bans lessons that aren't taught in New Hampshire schools, but that the threat of an investigation has a chilling effect on teaching about racism, sexism, and power. Guidance from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office about the law makes clear that uncomfortable classroom discussions about contentious issues are still allowed.

If parents or students believe a teacher has violated this law, they can now fill out a questionnaire on the Department of Education website about an incident. The issue is then investigated by the New Hampshire Commission for Human Rights, which decides whether someone has the basis to file a formal charge.

An educator found to have violated the new law could have their teaching license removed.

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Sarah Gibson joined NHPR's newsroom in 2018. She reports on education and demographics.
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