Youth Voice at Risk of Being Silenced: A Statement from Makin’ It Happen Executive Director Mary Forsythe-Taber

by | Apr 18, 2022 | Auburn, Bedford, Candia, Deerfield, Goffstown, Happening Now, Hooksett, Makin’ It Happen in the 603, Manchester, New Boston, Prevention, Recovery, Recovery Ready Community, Resiliency Essentials | 0 comments

Tomorrow a hearing will be held in the New Hampshire Senate’s Educational Committee on HB 1639. This bill aims to make the Youth Risk Behavioral Survey (YRBS) an opt-in survey rather than opt out.  It has already passed in the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

The YRBS is our state’s only direct feedback for all New Hampshire youth. It gives a snapshot of the experiences that young people have as they navigate through high school. This data is a direct guide to prevention and intervention efforts, that we along with other youth-serving organizations lead.  The YRBS serves as the voice of ‘youth’ and it allows Makin’ It Happen to effectively do our work. Making the YRBS opt-in will make it incredibly difficult for schools to collect data and identify issues that New Hampshire youth are experiencing.  The paperwork alone for opt-in would put a burden on educators who are already stretched thin.  Without the YRBS data applying for grants will become a challenge, selecting appropriate strategies would be hampered, and most importantly the voice of our youth – the future workforce, leaders, and voters of NH will not be heard.

We really appreciate the statements from our colleagues at Riverbend Mental Health Center and NAMI NH. We encourage you to read these statements and consider reaching out to your representatives.

Learn more from New Futures.