NJEA Claims Media Coverage of New Jersey Curriculum is Disinformation and endangers students

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TRENTON, NJ – The New Jersey Education Association today is disputing the harsh media coverage of the New Jersey public school curriculum involving some topics many parents have said are not age-appropriate for younger children.

Now, opposition to the curriculum is nothing more than “disinformation” and “hateful rhetoric” by the NJEA. Worse, if you oppose the curriculum, you are endangering the safety and mental health of New Jersey’s children.

“Politically motivated special-interest organizations and partisan politicians are actively spreading false information pertaining to New Jersey’s Comprehensive Health and Physical Education Standards, which were revised and adopted by the State Board of Education in 2020,” the NJEA said. “These bad actors are intentionally and falsely claiming that New Jersey is forcing age-inappropriate curriculum on children. Not only are these claims blatantly false, but this hateful rhetoric has the potential to jeopardize the safety and mental health of New Jersey’s students.”

New Jersey legislator Holly Schepisi says the NJEA is not telling the full truth.

“The NJEA is being disingenuous at best when they say that sample lesson plans that some parents are being provided by districts are not required by the new state sex-ed standards,” said Schepisi (R-39). “The simple fact is that there are only a handful of teaching resources that have been made available by left-wing groups that align with and satisfy the new standards. In an effort to comply with the new curriculum requirements for this fall, local school districts will likely feel compelled to pick from the limited menu of options that are currently available, which parents are now learning contains extreme material.”

“These standards do not mandate specific instruction, but rather, provide a blueprint for local school leaders to develop appropriate curricula for students in their communities,” the NJEA continued. “These revisions to the H&PES require students to be able to demonstrate ways to to promote dignity and respect for all people.”

Schepisi pointed to samples of lesson plans produced by Advocates for Youth that parents in Westfield were provided to demonstrate how the new curriculum standards might be implemented in their school district.

A lesson on gender identity, “Pink, Blue and Purple,” advises teachers to tell children in 2nd grade and under:

“You might feel like you’re a boy even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘girl’ parts. You might feel like you’re a girl even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘boy’ parts.”

A lesson on puberty, “It’s All about the Hormones,” advises teachers on how to discuss puberty blockers with children by the end of 5th grade:

“These medications stop the testicles or ovaries from making testosterone or estrogen and then the young person can take the hormone for the gender they know themselves to be. For example, someone assigned female at birth but who knows inside that he’s a boy could take puberty blockers to stop their body from making estrogen, and then begin to take testosterone so their body will develop physically as a boy.”

“It’s not disinformation as the NJEA suggests to tell parents that these sample lesson and curriculum plans are likely to be adopted by school districts, which is already happening,” said Schepisi. “In fact, Montclair, where the President of the NJEA serves as Mayor, adopted the Advocates for Youth curriculum in full in 2019. It defies belief to suggest that other school districts aren’t feeling the pressure to follow the example of the NJEA President’s local school district to adopt one of the sample curriculum plans to comply with the new state standards.”

But, the NJEA says it’s just trying to teach children about sexual orientation, race, gender identity, alternative family configurations, gender expression and immigration status, but contends the media narrative is still a lie.

Schepisi said parents need to know that these new standards are mandates that school districts must follow and not merely suggestions, as evidenced by the clear language of the minutes of the State Board of Education meeting on June 3, 2020, when the new sex education requirements were adopted:

“Resolved, district boards of education shall fully comply with this resolution and shall implement the revised New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Science, Visual and Performing Arts, World Languages, and Career Readiness, Life Literacies, and Key Skills by September 2021 and Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, Social Studies, and Computer Science and Design Thinking by September 2022, align their curricula with the standards…”

“Progressive groups have been trying to incorporate their far-left ideologies into our children’s curriculum for years,” added Schepisi. “They went way too far this time, and they got caught. Instead of owning up to it, they’re saying it’s ‘disinformation’ to educate people about what they’re clearly trying to do. It’s telling that even Governor Murphy is hedging and backtracking now, which he wouldn’t do if we weren’t right.”