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Senate Republicans Call on Gov. Murphy & Senate President Scutari to Halt Implementation of New Sex Ed Curriculum Standards, Hold Public Hearings

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The Senate Republican leadership team called on Governor Phil Murphy and Senate President Nicholas Scutari to halt the implementation of New Jersey’s controversial new sex education standards and to hold public hearings on curriculum changes to empower parents who feel ignored.

The Senate Republican leadership team called on Gov. Phil Murphy and Senate President Scutari to halt the implementation of New Jersey’s controversial new sex education standards, which would be taught to children as young as first and second grade. (¬©iStock)

The senators made the requests in separate letters to Murphy and Scutari as the public uproar continues to grow as more parents learn the extreme nature of the lessons that would be taught to children as young as first and second grade.

The full text of the letter to Governor Murphy (click here for PDF):

Dear Governor Murphy,

We have heard from a rapidly growing number of parents who are extremely concerned after learning about changes to state curriculum standards related to sex education that they believe are inappropriate for their children or in conflict with their values.

As you are likely aware, the New Jersey State Board of Education adopted the revised New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education in 2020, when most people were focused on navigating the many day-to-day impacts of the pandemic.

In fact, when the State Board adopted the new standards on June 3, 2020, more than 1 million New Jerseyans were contending with unemployment as a result of your executive orders and mandates, and the parents of 1.4 million children were juggling their new roles as homeschool teachers with all of their other work and responsibilities.

It’s no surprise, then, that parents were completely unaware of these changes or the impact they would have in classrooms until local school districts started sharing resources recently to demonstrate how topics such as sexual activity, masturbation, and gender may be discussed with children at various grade levels to comply with the new curriculum standards.

Put simply, parents are telling us they do not understand how standards they view as extreme and age-inappropriate were adopted by an unelected, politically-appointed board, and they are outraged at how your administration is implementing them through the New Jersey Department of Education.

We urge you to listen to the concerns of New Jersey parents and immediately suspend the implementation of the new sex ed standards.

The process for adopting controversial curriculum changes such as these should be more open and transparent, and it should be done through the Legislature in a manner that is well-publicized.

We should empower parents, not ignore them.

Sincerely,

Steven Oroho
Leader

Robert Singer
Deputy Leader

Joe Pennacchio
Deputy Leader

Kristin Corrado
Conference Leader

Holly Schepisi
Deputy Conference Leader

Anthony M. Bucco
Whip

Michael Doherty
Ranking Member – Judiciary

Declan O’Scanlon
Budget Officer

The full text of the letter to Senate President Scutari (click here for PDF):

Dear Senate President Scutari,

We have heard from a rapidly growing number of parents who are extremely concerned after learning about changes to state curriculum standards related to sex education that they believe are inappropriate for their children or in conflict with their values.

As you are likely aware, the revised New Jersey Student Learning Standards for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education were adopted by the New Jersey State Board of Education in 2020, and laws addressing diversity and inclusion curriculum requirements were enacted in 2019 and 2021.

The parents who are contacting us were unaware of these changes or the impact they would have in classrooms until local school districts started sharing resources recently to demonstrate how topics such as sexual activity, masturbation, and gender may be discussed with children at various grade levels to comply with the new curriculum standards.

They have serious questions about the appropriateness of these new requirements, including, for example, that first and second grade children be taught about gender expression and identity.

There is a clear frustration and anger being expressed by parents who do not understand how standards they view as extreme and age-inappropriate were adopted, and they don’t feel like they ever had a real opportunity to have their voices heard.

Given these extremely serious concerns, we believe the Legislature should convene a special session to suspend these controversial curriculum standards from being implemented.

Further, we believe the Legislature should publicize and hold public hearings to give parents the forum they desire to discuss their various curriculum concerns, including both content and the process for adopting and implementing changes. We should empower parents, not ignore them.

The Legislature has a responsibility as a co-equal branch of government to intervene when a legitimate policy concern of such importance as the education of our children has been raised by so many people.

We should not hesitate to be the model for open, transparent, and responsive government that New Jersey parents deserve.

Sincerely,

Steven Oroho
Leader

Robert Singer
Deputy Leader

Joe Pennacchio
Deputy Leader

Kristin Corrado
Conference Leader

Holly Schepisi
Deputy Conference Leader

Anthony M. Bucco
Whip

Michael Doherty
Ranking Member – Judiciary

Declan O’Scanlon
Budget Officer

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Republican Senators

Steven Oroho

Steven Oroho

District 24 - Republican Leader

Jon Bramnick

Jon Bramnick

District 21

Anthony M. Bucco

Anthony M. Bucco

District 25

Chris Connors

Chris Connors

District 9

Kristin Corrado

Kristin Corrado

District 40

Michael Doherty

Michael Doherty

District 23

Edward Durr

Edward Durr

District 3

Jim Holzapfel

Jim Holzapfel

District 10

Declan O'Scanlon

Declan O'Scanlon

District 13

Joe Pennacchio

Joe Pennacchio

District 26

Vince Polistina

Vince Polistina

District 2

Holly Schepisi

Holly Schepisi

District 39

Robert Singer

Robert Singer

District 30

Jean Stanfield

Jean Stanfield

District 8

Michael Testa

Michael Testa

District 1

Samuel Thompson

Samuel Thompson

District 12

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