Governor’s Veto of Allowing Parental Choice in Objectionable School Materials Overriden in House

CONCORD – House Speaker William O’Brien today offered the following statement on the override of House Bill 543 relative to relative to exceptions for objectionable material in public school courses. The bill narrowly missed the votes for override in the last House session and Rep. Neal Kurk, having voted on the prevailing side, today asked for reconsideration on the bill. The Governor’s veto of HB 543 was vetoed by 255 to 112.

House Speaker William O’Brien

“This law strikes a balance between the rights of parents and the need for the state to ensure children are properly educated. All parents have a right to control the education and instruction of their children. We are committed to better standards in our schools, which includes empowering parents to become more actively involved in their children’s education.”

House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“There is no good reason for public schools to force parents to subject their children with objectionable material and punish the students if their parents refuse to embrace the controversial work. This legislation clarifies in statute the fundamental obligation of parents to conscientiously object to materials or programs taught in our public schools. Parents already have the right to a voice in alternative learning programs for children over the age of 16 and it is only right that we extend these rights to all children in our public schools. It’s clear that Governor Lynch doesn’t think very highly of parental rights.”