Credit: Photo by Sharon McCutcheon:

Senator Ed Durr announced plans to introduce legislation to prohibit classroom instruction by school personnel on sexual orientation or gender identity in kindergarten through sixth grade.

“I highly doubt that New Jersey parents would want their children to learn about gender identity and sexual orientation in elementary school,” said Durr (R-3). “The new curriculum being foisted on us by the Murphy Administration is not only absurd and unnecessary, but it is incredibly insulting to every parent in the state. My legislation will reverse the implementation of these new sex education standards and allow parents to determine if and when such curriculum should be offered to their children.”

The controversial new curriculum, which takes effect in September 2022, is the result of legislation signed into law by Gov. Murphy in 2019 and 2021 and updated New Jersey Student Learning Standards in health and physical education unveiled in 2020 by the State Board of Education.

Under Durr’s legislation, after sixth grade, schools would be required to inform parents and obtain written consent for any classroom discussion relating to gender identity and sexual orientation. If parental consent is not received and the instruction is performed, a school that receives State education funding could lose that State funding.

The bill also allows parents to sue for alleged violations, damages, or attorney’s fees. Teachers could be penalized as well for any violations.

“I have heard from countless parents throughout South Jersey who have expressed anger and frustration in response to this new curriculum. They genuinely feel that their parental rights are being ignored by the Murphy Administration—something that is difficult to dispute,” added Durr. “Gender identity and sexual orientation are complicated subjects and I don’t think you will find a rational person in this country that thinks teaching such subjects to first- and second-grade students is a good idea.”

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