The following testimony was submitted to members of the New Hampshire legislative committee of conference negotiating HB 1431.
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation believes that HB 1431, if passed, would prove detrimental to the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable children. Several components of this bill would undermine important relationships with teachers and mentors that can be a lifeline for young people, and would undercut our public schools.
The timing of this bill is particularly chilling, as young people in the Granite State are reporting higher-then-ever levels of mental health challenges – an area of great concern to our communities and an area of priority for the Charitable Foundation. Our children need to know they can rely on trusted adults – parents, teachers, coaches, mentors, clergy – to be in their corner and help them grow into their full potential.
The Charitable Foundation is working to ensure that New Hampshire is a place where everyone can thrive. All of our children deserve an equal opportunity to thrive, and public schools have long been a cornerstone for providing that opportunity in the United States of America.
We urge you not to pass HB 1431.