AUGUSTA -- A public hearing was held today on a bill that proposes an amendment to Maine's constitution.

LD1953 introduced by Representative Jennifer Poirer of Skowhegan would establish a "Parental Bill of Rights".

She says the bill is designed to give Maine voters the right to have a public discussion of whether parents or the state should have the say on the education and upbringing of children.

"LD1953 establishes into our constitution a parental right to raise our children how parents see fit with our own core values and beliefs. Under this amendment parents have the fundamental right to educate their children, to care for their children and to raise their children while still giving the state authority to protect children when necessary," said Poirer.

The Maine School Board Association and Maine School Superintendent's Association have come out against the legislation.

They say there are already written policies in place to promote the rights of parents to partner with schools .

"Board members should promote parental engagement in the education of their children by monitoring their child's learning progress, reviewing their homework, discussing concerns with appropriate staff members in school and joining the PTO and volunteering at school," said Victoria Wallack, Director of Communication for Maine School Management Association.

Sixteen states have a parental bill of rights in their statutes.

Maine could be the first to have one in it's constitution.

News Director

Susan Farley, a familiar face in Eastern Maine,  joined the ABC 7 and Fox 22 News team in 2016. Susan most recently served as the executive director at the Ellsworth Area Chamber of Commerce, before returning to her roots in news. She has a long history in local news that began with writing for the local newspaper while she was still in high school and  continued in 1987 when she held the position of news director at WDEA/WWMJ radio stations. In 1990 she became the assignment editor at WABI-TV for six years. She left the station to run her own successful business while continuing to assist WABI in coverage of elections and other special events. She returned to WABI full-time in 2003 to serve as the station's Coastal Bureau chief for the next six years. She held the position of assistant news director at WVII ABC7 and Fox 22 before being chosen to take over as news director in 2018. "This is the place I was born and raised. The people here have a special place in my heart and I have always felt a need to tell their stories, to give them the information that matters to them ," said Farley. "I'm so proud to be working with the entire ABC 7/Fox 22 News team to bring quality news reporting to our viewers."

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