NH education chief Frank Edelblut blasted for ‘bigotry.’ He disagrees.

DURHAM — Protesters congregated outside the newly constructed Oyster River Middle School Thursday morning, holding signs in support of New Hampshire public education while rebuking state Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut.

Several dozen people lined the sidewalks, stating they believe Edelblut doesn’t support the state’s public school system. Edelblut has faced widespread criticism of late, including calls for his resignation or for Gov. Chris Sununu to remove him, following an opinion piece he wrote last month published by news organizations around the state.

Edelblut, in the opinion piece, wrote family “values systems” are being disrupted by some educators who, he said, show “bias” when they teach about “a sensitive topic like sexuality and gender.” Edelblut wrote some children “as young as 8 and 9” are being taught that “there are totally more than two genders! Some people identify as a gender that is not male or female, some identify as more than one gender, and some people don’t identify as any gender.” He wrote this “might conflict with – or worse, undermine – the value system of many of the families.”

People hold signs in support of public schools and protesting New Hampshire Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut in Durham Thursday, May 12, 2022, before a state Board of Education meeting at Oyster River Middle School.

Superintendent Lori Lane of the Somersworth schools responded with a letter of her own, accusing Edelblut of using a “veiled attempt to promote ‘parent rights'” to push his agenda that she said “promotes hatred and bigotry.” She called his actions “bullying” and urged Sununu to replace Edelblut.

Superintendent Lori Lane’s full letter: Replace NH Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut now.

Protesters, led by local clergy members from around the state, gathered Thursday morning at the Community Church of Durham and walked through town to the school. The protesters, also including local parents, verbally pushed back against Edelblut as the commissioner was in town to attend a state Board of Education meeting at the new middle school. 

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