Valley News Forum for Oct. 27, 2023: Urge passage of school background check bill

Published: 11-06-2023 4:29 PM

Urge passage of school background check bill

Yes, voting against background checks that will keep children safe is reprehensible (“Background check vote reprehensible,” Oct. 15). Under current law, private schools, religious schools and educational businesses may do background checks. Only government agencies can do the comprehensive FBI checks that include specific areas like domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual assault and child pornography. Non-government checks are simply internet searches by a third party. The state, all of us, have a compelling interest in protecting children, full stop.

HB 628, a bill that would require criminal background checks for all employees and volunteers at private schools and other educational entities that accept public funding, is coming up for a vote in the House Education Committee. A recent amendment has been offered to exempt traditional home schooling from this requirement and to change volunteers to ‘designated volunteers’ who engage with children on a regular basis rather than a bake sale. Public schools, charter schools and even camps are required by law to do background checks on employees and designated volunteers. Is it too much of a burden, too much government oversight, too expensive to save a child from an adverse and horrifying experience that will negatively affect them for the rest of their lives to require FBI criminal background checks?

HB 628 is a bill that will give parents, taxpayers, and the state a way to trust and verify that all schools and educational organizations who receive taxpayer resources, state funding for education will protect children with FBI criminal background checks.

I urge you to contact the House Education Committee members and ask them to pass HB 628 as amended.

N.H. Rep Linda Tanner

Sullivan 5

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Sunapee, Springfield

Digging into DeSantis support

So glad to read that New Hampshire Rep. Skip Rollins from Newport supports DeSantis because of Ron’s military career (“I support DeSantis for president,” Oct. 12).

Rollins wrote: “His distinguished service in the U.S. Navy, including deployment to Iraq in support of SEAL Team One, exemplifies the dedication and valor we seek in our leaders.”

According to DeSantis’ Wikipedia page: “He graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School. DeSantis joined the United States Navy in 2004 and was promoted to lieutenant before serving as a legal advisor to SEAL Team One. He was stationed at Joint Task Force Guantanamo in 2006 and was deployed to Iraq in 2007.” I would imagine one of the service-related injuries he managed to avoid as a lawyer could have been a serious paper cut.

I wonder if Skip also supported Captain Bone Spurs (Donald Trump), who bragged about not serving and avoiding getting a venereal disease?

According to Trump’s Wikipedia page: “In October 1968, he was classified 1-Y, a conditional medical deferment, and in 1972, he was reclassified 4-F due to bone spurs, permanently disqualifying him from service.” And according to a CNN report on an interview with Howard Stern: “In a previously unreported 1998 interview, Donald Trump compared sex to going to battle in Vietnam and joked he should be getting the Congressional Medal of Honor.” Oh, the irony.

New Hampshire voters should be very happy to hear that Rep. Skip has solved the issue of affordable housing for everyone, homelessness, drugs, worker shortage, increased pay for his constituents, fixed the roads and bridges, lowered medical costs, improved schools, and helped provide child care options for families.

Since he mentions the importance of the Second Amendment rights to own guns and to have more guns in four out of his six paragraphs so obviously that’s all that his constituents need to have a better life! I’m sure the voters will remember this coming Election Day what a wonderful job Skip has done solving the real-life issues of the citizens of New Hampshire. All you need is more guns!

Karl Wagner


Israeli airstrikes in Gaza

In a recent radio broadcast after an Israeli airstrike in Gaza I heard a father tending to his injured child asking the correspondent, “Why this, was my child the enemy?” Certainly I understand the father’s question and anger. But when Hamas staged its horrific pogrom against Israeli citizens across the border on Oct. 7 murdering over 1,400, I also ask if the women, children, and frail elderly who the terrorists slaughtered and kidnapped were also the enemy.

David Greenfield