The State of New Jersey filed lawsuits against three public school districts late last week for adopting policies requiring teachers to notify the parents of students requesting to go by “a new gender identity,” name, or set of pronouns,” according to a local news report.
The verified complaint for the case against Middletown Township Public School District claims that the state “seeks to prevent potential harm to students” by ensuring that “transitions” occur behind closed classroom doors.
The district’s policy doesn’t go so far as to prevent school employees from participating in “gender transitions,” though that would be ideal. Instead, the policy that will “irreparably harm” students, according to the state, simply requires that parents be kept in the loop, allowing them to address the situation properly.
“[I]n the event a student requests a public social transition accommodation, such as public name/identity/pronoun change, bathroom/locker room accommodation, or club/sports accommodations, or the like, the school district shall notify a student’s parents or guardian of the student’s asserted gender identity and/or name change, or other requested accommodation.”
The Middletown district’s superintendent announced her unexpected resignation two days before the lawsuit was filed. It is unclear whether or not her departure was related to this situation.
School districts in Marlboro and Manalapan-Englishtown, which adopted their own parental notification policies within the past two weeks, face nearly identical legal challenges from the state.
Platkin’s office referred the New Guard to a press release when asked how it’s a “safety” risk for parents to know what’s going on with their children.
“Without question, the discriminatory policies passed by these Boards of Education, if allowed to go into effect, will harm our kids and pose severe risk to their safety,” Platkin said in the release.
In reality, the only “irreparable harm” in these cases is caused when school officials must hide such important aspects of a student’s identity from his or her parents.