Senator Holly Schepisi and Senate Republican Leader Steven Oroho have introduced new legislation that would repeal controversial sex education mandates imposed by the New Jersey State Board of Education and shift control of learning standards in this area to parents and local communities.
“The current controversy over the extreme mandates imposed by unelected Trenton bureaucrats demonstrates exactly why we need to empower parents and local communities to control how sex education is taught in their children’s schools,” said Schepisi (R-39). “We believe sex education should be taught to students in an age-appropriate manner that is determined by local school boards in close consultation with parents. Different communities will likely find they have different perspectives on how best to teach sex education, and that’s okay. Under our legislation, they will have the authority to adopt learning standards that best fit the needs and concerns of their students and families without intrusive mandates from Trenton.”
Schepisi and Oroho’s new legislation is a key component of the “Three Rs” plan proposed by New Jersey Senate Republicans to repeal, replace, and restore to fix New Jersey’s controversial sex education and diversity and inclusion curriculum requirements.
The bill represents the “repeal” portion of the plan, requiring the State Board of Education to rescind the New Jersey Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, which includes the new sex education mandates.
Under the bill, the State Board will be prohibited from adopting any future Student Learning Standards in Comprehensive Health and Physical Education or from mandating any similar curriculum requirements or standards in the subjects of health and physical education.
The legislation directs local boards of education to adopt curriculum standards for the instruction of students in the subjects of health and physical education within 180 days of bill’s enactment.
Further, the legislation ensures that important topics continue to be taught, including: suicide prevention; organ donation; sexual abuse and assault; dating violence; gang violence; cardiopulmonary resuscitation; sexting; consent for physical contact and sexual activity; mental health; the “New Jersey Safe Haven Infant Protection Act”; breast self-examination; and substance abuse.
“Parents have told us they are deeply concerned that state mandates to teach lessons about gender identify and various sexual acts are extreme and inappropriate for young children,” said Oroho (R-24). “They feel like important decisions on what must be taught to their children were decided in a back room before they even found out those discussions were taking place. That should never be the case. We’re going to fight for parents to take control of sex education away from inaccessible Trenton insiders and “Give It Back” to our communities. Republicans believe parents should always have a say.”