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The New Jersey State Board of Education doubled down this week on its sex education guidelines, refusing to reconsider the controversial curriculum despite outrage from parents and concerns about the possible negative impacts.
The guidelines, which were approved by the board roughly two years ago during the height of the pandemic, have only recently come under fire for its requirements that students as young as seven years old will be taught about sexual orientation and gender identity.
Fox News’ David Lee Miller reported Friday on the board’s virtual meeting when Education Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan insisted that the guidelines “convey self-worth and acceptance on all students.”
Four members of the board, however, sent a letter to Allen-McMillian requesting a review by a committee of experts.
The letter reads in part: “We are hoping the committee and department will recommend removing some of the more controversial and graphic language, as well as reexamine the age-appropriateness of the grade at which some of these topics are recommended to be taught.”
NJ STATE SENATOR RIPS ‘OUTRAGEOUS’ GENDER EDUCATION PLAN: IT SHOULD ‘NEVER SEE THE LIGHT OF DAY’
New Jersey parent Emily Barker said she was appalled by the new guidelines.
“I have two kids and each child is different,” she said. “They mature at different ages.”
Monmouth County commissioners called the curriculum “disturbing” and are slated to create a Parent’s Bill of Rights. Commissioner Director Thomas Arnone said in a statement that the bill of rights would require parents to be notified of the curriculum and allow them to make decisions about their children’s exposure to sensitive material.
Arnone said the Monmouth board believes the discussion of sensitive topics should be left to parents.
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“I cannot stress enough how strongly we, as a Board, are opposed to the legislation that was passed, without adequate opportunity for public comment and parental input, regarding the deeply disturbing and highly sensitive content that will be taught to our young children,” Arnone said.
The move to create a parental rights bill comes after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the contentious Parental Rights in Education law, referred to as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by critics, which banned teachers from addressing sexual orientation and gender identity in kindergarten through third grade.
Fox News’ Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.