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NJEA’s officers, President Sean M. Spiller, Vice President Steve Beatty and Secretary-Treasurer Petal Robertson, issued this statement in support of the New Jersey attorney general’s action to block implementation of a discriminatory policy in Hanover Twp. that would endanger the safety of students:
“NJEA is extremely concerned about the harmful effect of this policy on Hanover students, and we support the New Jersey attorney general’s decision to challenge it in court. We agree that it is discriminatory in targeting LGBTQIA+ students. It also cruelly and inappropriately equates LGBTQIA+ identity with a host of dangerous illegal and violent activities.
“If allowed to be implemented, this mean-spirited policy will have a chilling effect in the district and will leave already vulnerable students fearful for their safety and unable to seek the support they need to thrive. Schools should be safe places for students, but this policy would make some students much less safe.
“New Jersey has worked hard to be a state that protects LGBTIA+ individuals from bullying, violence and discrimination. That is reflected in New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination, in guidance issued to school districts by the Department of Education, and the curriculum our public schools teach. At a time when all LGBTQIA+ individuals, and especially LGBTQIA+ students, face increasing threats across the nation, we must stand firm against any effort to undermine the protections that New Jersey students both need and deserve.”