New Hampshire governor Maggie Hassan has apologised to primary school students in the US after their suggestion of an official bird for their state was shot down by lawmakers.
Last week, the student’s proposal of the red-tailed hawk as a mascot was criticised as “frivolous”, with one legislator linking the idea to abortion.
A right-wing Republican derided the idea by saying the bird of prey that “rips its victims to shreds” would serve as a “much better mascot” for abortion advocates.
The students heard these comments from the gallery, which shocked at least one of their parents.
“It’s become a much bigger issue,” parent Nancy Roka told local media. “It’s about decorum, common courtesy.”
The bill was defeated 133 votes to 160.
Governor Hassan visited the students at Lincoln Akerman School this week to encourage them to stay involved in the democratic process despite the negative comments their draft bill received.