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This is a press release from New Jersey Senators Doug Steinhardt and Mike Testa.
Last week, a new Monmouth University poll reported that 77% of New Jersey residents, including a majority of Democrats, think parents should be notified if their child seeks to change gender on school records, and 75% oppose teaching gender education at the elementary school level. A resounding 81% of parents support schools being mandated to notify parents if children raise questions about sexual identity – with Democrats (61%), Independents (81%) and Republicans (92%) all on the same page. Nearly eight in 10 New Jersey residents of color (79%) support parental notification.
“These findings deliver a clear message: ‘Don’t mess with our children, Trenton.’ When you compare the poll findings with the actions taken by the Murphy administration, it’s clear that Murphy and his loyal lieutenants, like Sen. Vinod Gopal, are badly out of touch with the will of the people and parents. Parents are rightfully outraged and concerned by the state’s action, including:
- The Murphy administration is currently suing three local school boards to prevent parental notification. Murphy said the decision to sue was the ‘right thing to do.’
- In that case, Murphy’s attorney general described a court order that prevents parental notification as the case unfolds as a ‘major victory of civil rights’ (…over parents??).
- Recently, the state Board of Education approved regulations requiring schools to segregate sex ed classes based on gender identity instead of sex; allow children to participate on sports teams based on gender identity instead of sex; and strike gender-specific language, like pronouns, from being used.
- Gopal, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Education, co-sponsored legislation that directed the state Department of Education to develop a sex ed curriculum for children as young as kindergarten (Law 2021, Chapter 32 – Senate Bill 2781).
- Parents want more input on curriculum but the state is not affording them that opportunity.
“I applaud the increasing support for parents’ rights coming from state legislators, advocacy groups and parents from across the state. And I appreciate the court’s clear language stating that its preliminary injunction does not indicate how it will eventually rule on the case noted above. In the meantime, we will support parents’ rights 110%, even as Murphy, his attorney general and Gopal continue to demonstrate a troubling and blatant pattern of disregard for parents’ rights. When children raise serious questions about sexual identity or other issues while in school, we need to make sure they are surrounded with love and support from teachers, counselors and their parents.”