Another student privacy and parents’ rights bill — Senate Bill 320, relative to non-academic surveys — is on the Governor’s desk awaiting her signature.
Please contact Governor Hassan urging her to allow this bill to pass into law. Her phone number is 603-271-2121. Her office may also be contacted through their website. Alternatively you can email her staff, Amberlee Barbagallo, executive assistant, at email@example.com or Pamela Walsh, her Chief of Staff, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SB 320 was divided along party lines in the Senate, but had more wide-spread support in the House. Hopefully a strong grassroots effort will persuade the Governor to approve this much-needed bill.
Recommended talking points:
— This bill is the result of the study committee created in HB 206 (2015) that required further research of non-academic surveys and questionnaires administered in our public schools. It had bi-partisan support in committee.
— It recognizes that these surveys often include personal questions and students should not be compelled to participate. We also know that students are being required to share this information in class work when it is not optional or anonymous, in direct conflict with claims by many school administrators.
— There are mechanisms already in place for schools to obtain opt-in permission such as for field trips so there is no excuse for ignoring privacy and parents’ rights for these non-academic surveys.
— The bill requires school districts to adopt a policy that parents must provide active consent (opt-in) for their students’ participation in non-academic surveys, with the exception being the Center for Disease Control’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS).
— The ends do not justify the means. Although some students may benefit from social programs, it does not justify ignoring privacy concerns and parents’ rights to direct their under-aged children’s education.
For more information, read Non-Academic Surveys and Parents’ Rights.