Bill Would Mandate High Schools Teach Anti-Communism

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Rep. Mike Belcher, R-Wakefield, testified before the House Education Committee Tuesday on his bill that would require every high school to teach  an anti-communism curriculum in this screenshot.


CONCORD — A bill mandating anti-communism curriculum be taught in high schools found little support at a public hearing Tuesday.

House Bill 1153 would require a very specific high school curriculum of anti-communism or anti-socialism in much the same manner as current anti-fascist and anti-Nazism curriculum according to the bill’s prime sponsor, Rep. Mike Belcher, R-Wakefield.

He urged the House Education Committee not to write off his bill as “an obvious violation of local control,” and instead to consider its merits and how the idea of local control does not apply to the many federal mandates for schools.

He listed a number of federal programs tied to federal funding such as a mental health curriculum based on social and emotional learning methodologies as well as the Common Core standards adopted by many states including New Hampshire.

“The concept of local control is admirable in theory,” Belcher said, “but it does not actually exist.”

The most consequential violations come from mandates from the federal government and even the United Nations in schools, he noted.

He said the state has a long and proud history of anti-fascism and anti-Nazism as he heard from holocaust survivors when a student at Portsmouth High School.

Despite the educational appropriateness of that “much of the rest of history has been lost, you could say red-washed,” Belcher said. 

Schools do not teach about the atrocities of Stalin, Mussolini, or Castro which over time are a larger magnitude than Nazism, he said.

“It is time to acknowledge the threat of the communist  ideology,” Belcher said. “There is no free government if communism is the ideology just as well as fascism or Marxism.”

But Dan Williams, a music teacher from Concord, called the bill “a joke based on a right-wing conspiracy.”

Williams said the bill is similar to conspiracy theories spread by James Lindsay about the communist take over of the world and United states as well as groomer theories and Marxist wanting white genocide.

Williams, a high school music teacher with over 30 years of experience, said he is not asked political questions often but when he is, he tries to play the devil’s advocate, both left and right.

“I believe it is important for students to articulate their opinions in the face of opposing ones,” Williams said.

He said he taught over 30 years in public and private schools in two states and the first time he heard a teacher trying to indoctrinate students was at a private school in Vermont where a well-loved teacher shared her liberal beliefs.

The other instance was last year when a new hire lectured on “the evils of abortion,” he said.

“There is no leftist indoctrination in our schools,” Williams said, “It’s just as likely to be right-wing indoctrination as well, and the threat of either is insignificant.”
He said his wife, who retired last year, was an English teacher at the same school, and every year had a holocaust survivor speak to her class and taught her students how to find credible sources and how to cite them correctly.

“If she were given this bill, she would send it back,” Williams said. “Please ITL (kill) this crazy bill.”

Finding credible sources and correctly citing them is built into the school’s English curriculum, he said.

And he praised the school’s social studies department’s American Studies curriculum which uses We the People and the founding documents as a basis for civics and social studies programs.

“I would put them up against any in the state,” Williams said.

The committee did not make an immediate recommendation on the bill.

Garry Rayno is’s State House bureau chief with 40 years of reporting experience. He may be reached at

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