VIDEO: NH Judge Calls Classroom Censorship Unconstitutional

Granite Post Community Editor talking about Classroom censorship and a NH judge's reaction to it

By Katy Savage

May 29, 2024

A New Hampshire education law that essentially bans teachers from talking about gender and race was struck down by a federal court judge on Tuesday for violating the constitution.
Judge Paul Barbadoro ruled the law violates the 14th Amendment and that the language is “bordering on unintelligible” and “fatally vague.”

The so-called “divisive concepts” or “banned concepts” law focuses on four concepts. It says educators can’t teach that a person of any race, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristic is inherently “superior” to another; that any individual is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive against another for any characteristic; that an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment for any characteristic; and that people of one characteristic “cannot and should not attempt to treat others without regard to” one of their characteristics.

The judge particularly took issue with the fourth concept, writing, “How is teaching that certain individuals cannot treat others without regard for sex different than teaching that certain individuals are inherently sexist? The text provides no clues, thus rendering it impossible to interpret.”

Two teachers groups filed lawsuits in 2021. One NH teacher said in testimony he was more cautious about teaching Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” a book about slavery, out of fear of being disciplined under the new law.

@granitepost A New Hampshire education law that essentially bans teachers from talking about gender and race was struck down by a federal court judge on Tuesday for violating the constitution. Judge Paul Barbadoro ruled the law violates the 14th Amendment and that the language is "bordering on unintelligible” and “fatally vague.” The so-called “divisive concepts” or “banned concepts” law focuses on four concepts. It says educators can’t teach that a person of any race, gender, sexual orientation, or other characteristic is inherently “superior” to another; that any individual is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive against another for any characteristic; that an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment for any characteristic; and that people of one characteristic “cannot and should not attempt to treat others without regard to” one of their characteristics. The judge particularly took issue with the fourth concept, writing, “How is teaching that certain individuals cannot treat others without regard for sex different than teaching that certain individuals are inherently sexist? The text provides no clues, thus rendering it impossible to interpret." Two teachers groups filed lawsuits in 2021. One NH teacher said in testimony he was more cautious about teaching Toni Morrison’s “Beloved,” a book about slavery, out of fear of being disciplined under the new law. 👉🏼 Read the full article on our website! #NHEducation #SchoolCensorship #NHPolitics ♬ original sound – Granite Post

Author

  • Katy Savage

    Katy Savage is an award-winning reporter with more than 10 years of experience working in daily, weekly and digital news organizations as both an editor and reporter. Katy is a New England native and has a passion for telling stories about where she grew up.

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