New Hampshire teacher who helped student with abortion gets license restored after filing lawsuit

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — The New Hampshire Department of Education has restored a teacher's credentials days after she sued, alleging officials had mispresented her involvement in a student's abortion.

The teacher, identified only as Jane Doe in her lawsuit filed Monday, didn’t contest her firing from a private school last fall but sued the education department and top officials over the revocation of her teaching license earlier this month. Her attorney, James Armillay, said he learned on Thursday that her license has been reinstated “while the administrative process plays out.”

“We are confident that when presented with all of the evidence in this case, an impartial hearing officer will determine that Ms. Doe did not violate the Code of Conduct for New Hampshire Educators, and that no sanction is warranted,” he said in an email. "In the meantime, Ms. Doe is excited to get back into the classroom to do what she loves: teaching New Hampshire’s students.”

In her lawsuit, the teacher said the education department exceeded its authority and violated her due process rights by revoking her license without a fair and impartial process. And it accuses Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut of pushing a false narrative of her conduct via an opinion piece he published in April.

In that essay, Edelblut asked rhetorically whether the department should “turn a blind eye” when “allegedly, an educator lies by calling in sick so they can take a student – without parental knowledge – to get an abortion.”

New Hampshire law requires parents to receive written notice at least 48 hours before an abortion is performed on an unemancipated minor. But in this case, the student wasn’t living with her parents and was a legal adult, according to the lawsuit.

The teacher said she provided the student with contact information for a community health center last fall when the student disclosed her suspected pregnancy and later gave her a ride to the appointment in October. The school fired her within days and referred the matter to the Department of Education.

A court hearing is scheduled for July 3, five days before the teacher is set to begin a new job.