NEW JERSEY – Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho (R-24) said the Murphy administration’s confirmation that school districts will be penalized for not teaching controversial new sex education standards directly undercuts Governor Murphy’s assertions that parents and local school boards control what’s taught in their classrooms.
“We have absolute proof that Governor Murphy has been gaslighting parents who have expressed their serious concerns about new sex ed requirements that many believe are inappropriate for young children,” Oroho said. “After the governor spent all spring telling parents that their concerns about the sex ed mandates were unfounded, the NJDOE is now saying school districts will be punished if they don’t teach students about topics including vaginal, anal, and oral sex as the new standards require. The Murphy administration is sending a message shrouded in a threat that parents and local school boards really don’t have any choice at all when it comes to sex education.”
According to The Record, a spokesperson from the New Jersey Department of Education said, ”Districts that do not teach the standards will be penalized for instruction and program in the appropriate curricular area,” adding, “the severity of the ramifications could vary.”
The New Jersey State Board of Education adopted the new sex education standards in June of 2020, which school districts are required to incorporate into their curricula starting this fall.
Many parents were unaware of the new mandate until sample lesson plans were revealed in one school district showing how the standards might be taught in classrooms, leading to outrage that quickly spread statewide, Oroho said.
In response, the Murphy administration has tried to convince parents that they and their local school boards have the final say on what’s taught in their children’s classrooms, despite the clear language of the mandate from the State Board of Education, Oroho said.
“Parents don’t really have the final say on what their kids are taught when the Murphy administration says schools will be penalized for not teaching the new sex education requirements imposed by unelected Trenton bureaucrats,” Oroho said. “The unspoken threat is that Governor Murphy will cut state aid to school districts that refuse to comply, which will drive up property taxes for struggling families in those communities even higher. Not many people can afford that when inflation is soaring and grocery bills are rising faster than paychecks. Communities will be forced to decide whether standing up for their values is worth the economic pain the Murphy administration might impose on them for daring to assert their parental rights when it comes to sex education.”
Oroho and Senator Holly Schepisi (R-39) sponsor legislation that would repeal the new sex education mandates imposed by the State Board of Education and shift control of learning standards in this area to parents and local communities.
The legislation is a key component of the “Three Rs” plan proposed by New Jersey Senate Republicans to repeal, replace, and restore to fix New Jersey’s controversial sex education and diversity and inclusion curriculum requirements.