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New Hampshire’s Republican legislature passed a bill banning teaching about racism, and Governor Chris Sununu signed it. The bill also included funding for vouchers and cuts for public schools.
Ten of the 17 members of the governor’s Diversity Council resigned in protest, citing censorship.
“It should not be taken lightly that nearly every member of the Council that is not part of your administration is resigning today, as we collectively see no path forward with this legislation in place,” the resigning members wrote in their letter to Sununu. The group includes the executive director of the New Hampshire ACLU, educators, doctors and children’s advocates.
Sununu established the council in 2017, with a mission to “combat discrimination and advance the ends of diversity and inclusion.”
Last week, he signed House Bill 2, a policy-focused “trailer bill” that passed along party lines in the GOP-controlled legislature. Among other provisions, the legislation bars public schools and government employees from teaching about systemic racism and bias. It also bans abortions beyond 24 weeks gestation, with exceptions only to save the life of the mother. Doctors who perform those abortions could face up to seven years in prison.
State Rep. Jim Maggiore (D) told HuffPost that he voted against the bill because he “could not in good conscience support language restricting the free speech of Granite Staters.” He was one of the 10 council members who quit Tuesday.