A New Jersey judge delivered a significant ruling on Friday, temporarily halting three school districts from implementing policies that would require informing parents if their child is undergoing a gender transition.
This decision came after Democratic New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin took legal action against the Middletown Township, Marlboro Township and Manalapan-Englishtown Regional boards of education.
These boards had previously decided to mandate educators to inform parents if their child expressed a desire to change their gender.
“The state has demonstrated a reasonable probability of success on its claim that the Amended Policies, if implemented, will have a disparate impact on transgender, gender nonconforming and nonbinary youth,” Judge David Bauman wrote in his opinion, according to NJ.com.
The lawsuit filed by the state argued that these policies contravene New Jersey’s Law Against Discrimination. This law mandates schools to ensure equal treatment for students, irrespective of their “gender identity and expression.”
Furthermore, the state’s Department of Education’s Transgender Student Guidance emphasizes that schools should “accept a student’s asserted gender identity.” This guidance also highlights that “parental consent is not required” for a student to undergo a gender transition within the school environment.
“As the Superior Court correctly recognized, the State is ‘not targeting parental rights,’” Platkin said in a press release. “Indeed, the State has never sought and never will seek a ‘ban’ on parental notification. All our lawsuits seek to do is to reinstate the same policies these districts found acceptable with little protest for years. Put simply, we can both keep parents informed about their children’s development and protect the civil rights of our most vulnerable students. Our laws require nothing less.”
This New Jersey case mirrors a broader national trend. School boards across the nation are adopting policies akin to those challenged in New Jersey. For instance, the Murrieta Valley School Board in California recently passed a policy that would inform parents if their child is transitioning genders. Additionally, Democratic California Attorney General Rob Bonta initiated an investigation into Chino Unified School District after its board decided on a similar policy.
“We are disappointed that the Court granted the State’s request for a preliminary injunction blocking our implementation of the amended policy until the matter is fully resolved at the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights – a process that could take years,” Marc Zitomer, the attorney representing the Marlboro school board, said in a statement to the Daily Caller. “The school district is now severely constrained in its ability to notify parents about important issues involving their minor children, which is quite concerning on many levels. We are exploring our avenues for appeal.”
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