Judge to consider dismissal of anti-discrimination laws suit

September 14, 2022 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A federal judge is considering a motion from the state to dismiss challenges to New Hampshire’s new anti-discrimination laws filed by teachers and administrators who say they are confused about what they can legally teach.

Judge Paul Barbadoro said Wednesday he’d make a decision within 60 to 90 days.

Two lawsuits have been consolidated. The National Education Association-New Hampshire, which represents the majority of all public school employees in the state, and two diversity, equity and inclusion school administrators, sued New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut, Commission on Human Rights Chair leaders and Labor Commissioner Kenneth Merrifield.

A similar lawsuit also was filed by the AFT-New Hampshire union, three high school teachers; and two parents.

The “Prohibition on Teaching Discrimination” provision prohibits teaching children that they are inferior, racist, sexist or oppressive by virtue of their race, gender or other characteristics. The “Right to Freedom from Discrimination in Public Workplaces and Education” prohibits training sessions or programs teaching that one identified group possesses “natural biological, or innate characteristics as opposed to apparent or accidental characteristics” that make them inferior, racist, sexist or oppressive.

The laws allow disciplinary action to be taken against teachers who violate them.

An earlier version of the legislation echoed a since-rescinded Trump administration order that sought to ban discussion of “divisive concepts” in schools.