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Mar 24, 2015 7:23 PM

Sponsor of kids' bill for state raptor outraged by comments


CONCORD - An investigation now underway after a lawmaker received death threats for comments made over a state raptor bill.

A group of fourth-grade students from Hampton Falls learned the brutal reality of politics on March 12, when state representatives made several comments about the bill being a waste of their time.

The sponsor of the bill, state. Rep. Renny Cushing, is expressing his disgust.

Should the N.H. Legislature debate bills proposed by students?

Some are calling them lawmakers behaving badly after the video went viral, getting hundreds of thousands of views on NH1.com alone.

Cushing is reacting to his fellow lawmakers' words.

"I was shocked at the floor debate," he said.

Some say his colleagues lashed out at the students while others say it was just another day at the Statehouse.

The children were there to get their bill turned into law but instead only to be shot down.

"I explained to them what to expect and the unexpected happened," said Cushing, telling NH1 News that he had visited with the children just days before their trip to Concord.

The 9- and 10-year-olds from Lincoln Akerman School from Hampton Falls getting an unexpected lesson.

They wanted to make the red-tail hawk the New Hampshire state raptor but Republican State Representative Warren Groen didn't exactly make the kids feel welcome, saying in part:

"...The shame about making this a state bird is it would serve as much better mascot for Planned Parenthood..."

Groen was comparing the red-tailed hawk to abortion.

Meantime, State Rep. John Burt, of Goffstown, who also spoke out against the bill, has received death threats.

Cushing said it's an embarrassment.

"We should be the adults in the room," Cushing said. "The fourth-graders shouldn't be the one who sit in the gallery and watch the childish antics take place on the floor of the house."

Cushing will take to the Statehouse floor tomorrow to talk about the comments as well as formally apologize to the kids.

» There are multiple updates to this story. Please click here to get the latest information.


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