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Chris Sununu (Union Leader file photo)

Sununu signs bill requiring notice to parents before teaching sex education


CONCORD — Gov. Chris Sununu on Monday signed into law HB 103, which requires school districts to provide advance notice to parents and legal guardians of course material involving discussion of human sexuality.

“This bipartisan legislation is consistent with my longtime support for measures that further empower parents’ involvement in their child’s education,” Sununu said in a statement.

New Hampshire now joins 22 other states and the District of Columbia in requiring parental notification when sex education is discussed in the classroom.

“It is important to let parents know what students are learning and this bill encourages clear and open lines of communication regarding curriculum content in this important area,” said Sununu.

The law requires school districts to provide at least two weeks’ notice to parents and legal guardians of subject material relating to human sexuality and reproduction, prior to instruction.

It amends existing law, which allows parents to opt their child out of sex education, but does not require advance parental notification of curriculum materials.

The bill was opposed by the New Hampshire School Boards Association, the New Hampshire School Administrators Association and the American Civil Liberties Union.

“Most school districts have a process in place and this dictate will not solve a problem,” said state Rep. Mary Heath, D-Manchester, during the floor debate. “Furthermore, this bill jeopardizes the young people of New Hampshire’s ability to get the critical information they need to make healthy lifelong choices.”

Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan vetoed similar legislation in 2015.

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