An alleged argument with a parent over an education bill in mid-May reportedly led a Democratic state representative in New Hampshire to accuse parents of “incompetence,” urging them to “shut up.”
Tommy Hoyt, a state representative for Campton, confirmed the heated exchange with a concerned parent over a proposed piece of legislation, Senate Bill (S.B.) 272, the New Hampshire Journal reported May 18. Touted as a parental rights in education bill, S.B. 272 would have required public schools to be transparent about how students express themselves in the classroom, specifically whether they are using a different name or pronoun, according to The Keene Sentinel.
— NH Journal (@NewHampJournal) May 18, 2023
When a local constituent expressed their views to the representative, urging Hoyt to vote for S.B. 272 “without any amendments,” the legislator reportedly fired back with an insult, blaming substandard test scores during the pandemic on parents, according to a screenshot of an email exchange shared by the New Hampshire Journal.
“Do you know why children’s results tanked during Covid?” Hoyt wrote in a message he reportedly confirmed was authentic. “Their parents were incompetent teachers. Do your children a favor, let the teachers teach, and shut up. You’re clearly no professional.”
“The way I feel is that children’s test scores in school performance dropped off drastically was because they didn’t have teachers. And the parents that thought, ‘We can replace them and can tell them what to do,’ was not effective. I probably could have used better words,” Hoyt said, according to the outlet.
The bill was narrowly defeated in the legislature Thursday after Democrats argued “parents present a unique danger to their children” and as such, should not be privy to their behavior at school, particularly in regards to sex and gender issues, the New Hampshire Journal reported. (RELATED: Dem Rep Claims Parental Rights In Education Bill Will Lead To ‘Hate, Bigotry and Death’)
S.B. 272 would open “these children up to a litany of dangers, including hostility, rejection, isolation, and even violence from their parents,” Democratic state Sen. Rebecca Perkins Kwoka argued, according to March 23 op-ed in the Journal.
“Legislation like SB 272 can, and will, cause serious, irreparable harm to LGBTQ+ youth, the harm that can end up being fatal for our young citizens,” Democratic state Sen. Donovan Fenton reportedly agreed.
“While some parents are good and trustworthy, I know firsthand the damage a parent can inflict,” Democratic state Rep. Alicia Gregg said, according to the article. She reportedly argued violence can “fester and thrive” behind the doors of homes.
“Teachers and counselors are required to go to school and get degrees to teach and advise kids, but anyone can be a parent,” she added in a speech on the House floor. (RELATED: Majority Of Voters Back Legislation That Would Require Schools To Tell Parents About Students’ Gender Transitions)
While Hoyt reportedly told the outlet he did not agree with lying to parents regarding the behavior of their children at school, he supported teachers, principals and coaches being able to keep secrets from parents in regards to their children’s sexuality and gender. The outlet asked Hoyt whether he agrees parents are more of a threat to their children than other adults. “I would certainly say some parents would be,” he reportedly told the Journal.