A Republican New Hampshire state legislator told a county convention Monday evening that kindergarten leads to higher crime rates.
Rep. Bob Kingsbury (R-Laconia) told the Belknap County Convention that research he’s been conducting for the last 16 years has led him to believe that kindergarten programs leads to higher crime rates, theLaconia Daily Sun reported. Kingsbury, one of the more conservative legislators in the Tea Party-controlled House, said that his analysis was of local crime rates in communities that offered kindergarten versus those that do not offer the educational program.
“We’re taking children away from their mothers too soon,” Kingsbury said, who also linked higher crime to the lack of boxing classes in high schools
Kingsbury’s comments came during a discussion over whether or not to build a new county jail and why inmate populations continue to rise. He said he shared his research with other legislators when he tried to fight mandatory kindergarten in the state.
Kingsbury, 86, has a history of supporting ideas that differ from his fellow legislators. In January, he partnered with two allies of birther queen Orly Taitz to push a bill partially ending the direct election of U.S. senators. Kingsbury said that he believed that all U.S. Senate candidates should first be picked by the state legislature and then put up for popular vote.
Both Democrats in the race, Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley, have called on Lamontagne to address the comments while condemning Kingsbury. Hassan called Kingsbury’s comparison “quite frankly ridiculous” in a statement and suggested that Lamontagne will try to roll back kindergarten requirements as governor.
Cilley went on Twitter to express her support for Kindergarten. “Just to be clear, I absolutely support kindergarten, and do not believe it increases crime,” Cilley said in a tweet.