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The House and Senate will vote HB 1431 on Thursday (5/26).  New Futures opposes this bill which would remove community protections for children because it would give parents the final word on their child’s health, education, and welfare, even if it meant the child was put at risk or in danger.

HB 1431 puts parents at odds with educators and school administrations, to the detriment of children.

  • This bill would have a chilling effect on the relationship between children and teachers, who are often a trusted support for children outside of their parents.
  • Children need to be able to reach out to adults outside of their home for support if they are in dangerous home situations.
  • This bill sows distrust between educators and parents, which could negatively impact a child’s ability to get a quality education.  At an already tense time for teachers, this could further empower parents to object to evidence-based programming and materials in schools, such as MTSS-B.
  • Requires teachers to report to parents on a child’s sexual and gender identities, which could put children in danger.  It also prevents children from living their life fully at school, if they are not able to express their preferred sexual and gender identities at home.

HB 1431 raises significant concerns about child welfare and safety.

  • DCYF and the Office of Child Advocate testified that this bill could impede the ability to investigate child abuse and neglect concerns.
  • The bill does not make it clear enough that DCYF and law enforcement have the ability to investigate allegations of abuse and neglect in a way that is both effective and safe for the children involved.
  • This bill will prevent our ability to identify children who are suffering from ACEs and connect them and their families with resources that could help mitigate the ACEs’ effects.
  • This bill could create barriers to children receiving free and reduced meals and Medicaid services if parents are forced to fill out cumbersome applications for each program, as opposed to the automatic enrollment that is in place now.