The administration of New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has filed a lawsuit against three school districts for implementing policies that inform parents if their children exhibit signs of gender identity changes.
In a recent development, Attorney General Matt Platkin has filed lawsuits against the Manalapan-Englishtown, Marlboro, and Middletown school districts and boards. The lawsuits, which were filed on Wednesday, claim that the policies implemented by these districts violate New Jersey's Law Against Discrimination and pose a threat to transgender students.
According to the Marlboro lawsuit, exposing these students without their consent can result in severe mental health consequences, physical harm, and an increased risk of suicide. It can also reduce the likelihood of students seeking support and neglect the District's responsibility to establish a secure and encouraging learning atmosphere for everyone. It is true that LGBTQ+ students in New Jersey and other places have taken their own lives after their sexual orientation or gender identity was revealed without their consent.
Lawsuits have been filed to prevent districts from enforcing policies, as the culture wars continue to intensify in suburban and rural school districts in New Jersey and across the country. Murphy lives in Middletown as well.
The Hanover Board of Education was sued by New Jersey last month in a similar case. The Morris County district's parental notification policy amendment has caused a deadlock between the two parties.
According to state guidelines, schools are required to ensure that students are referred to by their preferred names and pronouns, allowed to dress in accordance with their gender identity, and the district can accept the student's asserted gender identity without requiring parental consent.
According to a statement by Sundeep Iyer, the director of the Attorney General's Division on Civil Rights, school policies that discriminate against LGBTQ+ youth contradict the State's dedication to equality. We are committed to upholding the laws that prohibit discrimination based on gender identity or expression and will not falter in enforcing these protections.
The board members of Middletown and Manalapan-Englishtown districts stated that they will refrain from giving their opinions until they have examined the lawsuits.
According to Marc Zitomer, the lawyer representing Marlboro's school board, he believes that the newly implemented policy adequately addresses the concerns of both parents and students.
In an email, he stated that they strongly oppose the Attorney General's claim that informing a parent about their minor child's gender identity or expression change is discriminatory or inappropriate. We believe that not informing parents about significant matters concerning their children goes against the established U.S. Supreme Court ruling that recognises parents' constitutional right to direct and manage their children's upbringing.
According to the Attorney General's office, all three districts implemented their policies on June 20th. In certain situations, they allow for parental notification to be waived if it could potentially endanger the student.
According to Manalapan's policy, parents or guardians of students in kindergarten through fifth grade are responsible for determining their child's gender identity. According to the lawsuit, the policy assumes that parental notification is necessary in all cases.
It seems that the lawsuits have already turned into a matter of politics. Before the Attorney General's Office made a public announcement, Steve Dnistrian, a Monmouth County Republican state Senate candidate, used the news of the lawsuits to issue a press release. Dnistrian is challenging state Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Monmouth) in the 11th District, but none of the districts are located there.
Dnistrian suggested that the ideal approach to addressing challenging problems is for the local school boards, teachers, and parents to collaborate and determine a resolution that is suitable for their community. However, parents should always be included in the conversation. Democrats are advocating for excluding parents from conversations if their children have inquiries about being LGBTQ. The mandates from Trenton are unfair and biassed.