AFT-NH tears up new DOE webpage to report discrimination, says officials ‘declared war on teachers’

Nov 11 — The American Federation of Teachers in New Hampshire tears up a new webpage for reporting allegations of discrimination in schools launched this week, saying education officials have “declared war on teachers.”

The state Department of Education this week launched a webpage linked to the New Hampshire Human Rights Commission (NHCHR) aimed at ensuring that “students and educators are free from discrimination” and have the opportunity to learn and teach in a safe environment.

The web page offers an online site to address the concerns of a child who may have been discriminated against. Parents, guardians and teachers can submit a public education questionnaire which will be reviewed by a commission admissions coordinator to determine if there are grounds to file a formal complaint.

“We know that here in New Hampshire, teachers do their best to treat everyone equally and genuinely strive to communicate with dignity and respect,” said Frank Edelblut, Commissioner of Education. ‘education. “This web page is now publicly available, so in the rare event that something could appear to be unwanted treatment, individuals have a place to go where they can voice their concerns and receive help – – whatever. parents or teachers. “

AFT-New Hampshire President Deb Howes issued a statement Wednesday calling on Governor Chris Sununu to demand that Edelblut resign for “his outrageous, manifestly politically motivated and harmful effort.”

“Completely innocent teachers could lose their teaching licenses for allegations that are not supported by any evidence,” Howes said. “Edelblut has declared a war on teachers, a war the overwhelming majority of NH’s parents will find repugnant.”

State officials said the project was carried out following the passage of House Bill 2, Right to Non-Discrimination in Public Workplaces and Education.

“This update to the law provides a mechanism for people who believe they have been discriminated against or wronged to have the information reviewed and evaluated by a neutral third party,” said Ahni Malachi, executive director of NHCHR. “It also creates a unique opportunity for the NHDOE and New Hampshire school districts to have more solid conversations about discrimination, educational efforts on the subject, and a better understanding of the difference between discrimination and non-discrimination. “

Howes said Edelblut declined an invitation from AFT-NH to meet with members about the law and “instead launched a web page designed to attack them.”

“It’s too bad New Hampshire has an education commissioner who doesn’t support educators and the work they do every day to help our children,” Howes said. “Teachers work very hard to make sure that all students feel welcome and can see their lived experiences reflected in our classrooms and discussions.”

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