Uproar over teaching gender identity in NJ schools overdone?

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As the uproar continues over the New Jersey Department of Education’s guidelines for teaching students about sexual orientation and gender identity that will go into effect in the fall, the chairman of the Senate committee on education is asking the Murphy administration to suspend implementation of the guidelines.

State Sen. Vin Gopal, D-Monmouth, said after reviewing 66 pages of Department of Education guidance, there is a lot of misinformation circulating and state officials should step in to reassure and inform parents.

What do we teach children?

He said the guidelines aim to “highlight and promote diversity, equity, inclusion, tolerance and belonging, on topics such as gender and sexual orientation, race and ethnicity. ethnicity, disabilities, religious tolerance”.

He said the guidelines are also designed to encourage “safe and welcoming inclusive environments for all students, regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual and gender identity, mental and physical abilities and religious beliefs”.

Primary age bullying in the school yard

LSOphoto

Gopal said the main idea here is to “treat everyone, no matter who they are, what they look like, where they’re from, where they hunt, with respect.”

It doesn’t belong in school

Nonetheless, State Senator Edward Durr, R-Gloucester, has announced his intention to introduce a bill that would ban any instruction about sexual orientation or gender identity from kindergarten through sixth grade.

“This is clearly a topic that is very sensitive, and inherently sensitive in itself, should be left at home, to the parents,” he said.

He said discussions of anything sexual in nature should be treated the same as religion in schools.

“We don’t allow religion to be force-fed in schools, so why would you force-feed a personal matter that is a parental right,” he said.

Primary school class outdoors

Monkey Business Images

Durr noted that many people have emailed and texted his legislative office complaining about plans to require school children to learn about sexual orientation and gender identity, and he supports calls from Republican leaders to hold public hearings on the issue.

Take a break

Gopal said there is so much inaccurate information floating around “I think it is imperative that the Department of Education and the Governor pause and provide clarification, provide a simple page, say exactly what there’s what districts can and can’t do.

He said concerns raised by some lawmakers that teachers might give in-depth lessons about gender and gender-related behaviors to children in kindergarten and first grade are unfounded.

“It’s insane, no rational person would want that. It’s about making sure every child knows how to treat other children,” he said.

Gopal pointed out that children will discover many things that interest them simply by going online or chatting with their friends, so it makes sense for them to get accurate information at school.

“What’s important here, and I understand the concerns of parents, is making sure it’s age appropriate, and that’s left in the hands of the professionals who are the educators in these school districts,” did he declare.

Durr said his legislation, which will soon be officially introduced, also states “if the school offers (courses on) these subjects in violation of the law, the school, not the entire district, but the school could losing state funding”.

Obtain parental permission

Durr said the measure states that from the seventh grade, the school can offer lessons in these subjects, but parental consent would be required for students to take the course.

Durr’s legislation would also allow parents to sue school districts for alleged violations, damages and attorney’s fees, and teachers could also be penalized.

elementary school students

(GettyStock/ThinkStock)

He said if you take the word teacher out of the equation and tell someone ‘a grown man was talking to an underage child about sexual content, we would arrest that individual’.

Durr said discussions of sexual orientation simply had no place in a classroom with young children.

“Let them grow up and then they can decide their sexual orientation and identity, what they want to be or how they want to be. In school, they should focus on reading, math, English , history, deal with basic subjects.

Several other Republican lawmakers have introduced or are considering introducing measures to increase parental involvement in school programs.

State Sen. Joe Pennacchio, R-Morris, is sponsoring a measure, S1571, that would require public schools to post curriculum plans online, another, S1570, for school boards to publicly post their 48-hour curriculum at the advance.

He also has a bill, S2385, that would specifically remove the requirement that diversity and inclusion education be provided from kindergarten through eighth grade, and another measure, S302, would require counties, municipalities , school districts, and other local governments that receive state funding to create a public finance website similar to the state transparency site.

State Sen. Kristin Corrado, R-Passaic, is sponsoring a measure, S4234, that would grant parents the right to engage in and direct their child’s education, including the ability to remove their children from any program that conflicts with their conscience, or moral or religious beliefs.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]

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NJ County Fairs are making a comeback: Check out the schedule for 2022

UPDATE 4/10: A current list of county fairs happening in the Garden State for 2022. From rides, food, animals and hot air balloons, each county fair has something unique to offer.

(Fairs are listed in geographic order from South NJ to North NJ)

These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey

A trip to New Jersey doesn’t have to be just the beach. Our state has incredible trails, waterfalls and lakes to enjoy.

From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to New Jersey’s hidden gems, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it’s a great workout.

Before you hit the trails and explore some of our listeners’ suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.

If you descend and encounter an uphill hiker, pull to the side and give the uphill hiker some space. An uphill hiker has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.

Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless marked as an official trail, avoid them. Going off the trail, you risk damaging the ecosystems around the trail, the plants and wildlife that live there.

You also don’t want to disturb any wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.

Cyclists must yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also give in to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you’ll encounter on New Jersey trails.

If you plan to take your dog on your hike, they must be on a leash and be sure to clean up all pet waste.

Finally, pay attention to the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it’s probably best to save your hike for another day.

I asked our listeners for their suggestions on the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions:

All the NJ Pizza Restaurants Barstool’s Dave Portnoy Reviewed

Dave Portnoy, commonly known as El Presidente, is the founder of Barstool Sports. Somewhere along the way, he decided to start reviewing local pizzerias, and the concept took off. Here are all the New Jersey pizzerias Dave has stopped at, and how he rated them.

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