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At least one New Jersey school district is giving the state an “F” when it comes to the new sexual education curriculum and has decided to opt out from teaching the material — despite a warning from state leaders.
The Board of Education for the town of Garwood rejected the 66-page sex ed standards sent by the state back in May, after parents demanded that it be dropped. Some said that the content could traumatize their young children.
“Every single person pushing this sex ed curriculum inclusive of subject matter is a sexual predator in my book and should be in jail,” one parent said to applause during a school board meeting.
According to the state’s Department of Education, the majority of New Jersey’s 600 school districts have adopted the curriculum. Others have modified it, with the looming threat of “disciplinary action” by the state — although it’s still unclear what that would or could mean.
One former third grade teacher said the lesson isn’t one she would want to teach her children.
“Not one of my students needed to learn about sexual education at that age, gender identity. And they certainly didn’t need to learn it from me,” she said during the school board meeting. “It’s not my job as their teacher to explain to them about their genitals or sexual orientation.”
The new curriculum also includes subjects like mental health, peer pressure and bullying. While classes are adapted to every age group, some parents said there are topics that are just too mature no matter how they are taught.
The state included an “opt out” whereby parents would need to fill out a written form explaining why their child should be excused from any particular portion of the health lesson that they objected to. But many parents in the town said they shouldn’t have to opt in to any of it at all.
“My personal opinion is kids are too young to learn about certain things, period. I like to keep my kids as naïve as possible…really the job of teaching kids is the parents’,” said Jose Sardinas, a father of three. “I can see both sides of it, I can think if parents decide something it should be respected, but I understand both sides of the issue.”
The Department of Education did not reply to multiple requests for comment, nor did the superintendent of Garwood schools.
NJ School District Rejects Sex Ed Program – NBC10 Philadelphia
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