NH Teacher Fired for Calling in Sick to Take Pregnant Student to Abortion Clinic

AP Photo/Steve Helber

A New Hampshire school has fired a teacher after an investigation found that she had secretly taken a pregnant student to obtain an abortion. This development comes amid a national debate over parental rights and efforts on the part of teachers to subvert them.

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The Boston Globe obtained documents through a public records request noting that the former teacher admitted to lying about having food poisoning when she called in sick. On that day, the educator allegedly drove the student to a medical facility. This prompted the authorities to launch an investigation into her conduct.

This story first came to light when it was mentioned in an op-ed written by New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut. He brought it up in a list of examples of what kinds of issues might warrant a Department of Education investigation:

“How should the Department respond when a parent has reached out to express concern that a teacher had called a student a ‘White supremacist’ and confiscated their Trump flag while ignoring the student wearing the Pride flag? … Or when an art teacher, rather than teaching art, introduces children to Black Lives Matter and LGBTQ for Kids, without consulting with parents or school leadership,” he wrote. “Should we look the other way?”

In that list, Edelblut briefly mentioned a teacher having been accused of lying to take the student to “get an abortion” without their parents knowing.

“Should we turn a blind eye?” he asked, rhetorically.

By stoking concerns about secrecy between school personnel and students, Edelblut’s op-ed echoed a contentious debate over “parental rights” legislation that state lawmakers considered in 2022 and 2023. Edelblut, a socially conservative former GOP candidate for governor, expressed disappointment last year when the legislation was defeated.

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In the op-ed, Edelblut criticized news outlets that were unfair in their reporting on parents concerned about what children are being presented with in schools.

What is missing from the NHPR list of questions is a lack of curiosity for the educators and students who have raised concerns about these circumstances in their schools. The articles go to great lengths to explore the feelings of educators that the Department has reached out to, but seems short on perspectives of the educators, students and parents who initially raised concerns to the Department.

In education, we serve students and families. Educational leaders serve this constituency and their community and the educators in their system. All of us in the public sector serve the taxpayer.

In May, the department published a heavily redacted report about the incident online. The report indicated that the former teacher told investigators that she helped the pregnant student “determine how far along they were … so the student knew what options they’d have available.”

The teacher helped the student find a “safe” facility that offered abortion and conversed with the student about having the procedure. She offered to come with the student to her appointment because she believed she “didn’t have anyone to support them.”

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The educator was later placed on administrative leave for the rest of her contract, which was not renewed. New Hampshire has a law against performing an abortion on children younger than 18 years old until 48 hours after receiving written notice from one of their parents. However, across the state line, Massachusetts allows pregnant females as young as 16 years old to consent to an abortion without parental involvement. The report does not indicate whether the teacher drove the student to a facility inside New Hampshire or another state.

The teacher is now working in a different school district in New Hampshire.

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