New Jersey’s Democrat Governor Phil Murphy has filed “emergency” lawsuits to block school districts from implementing a new policy to notify parents of their children’s “gender transitions.”
Several of the state’s school districts implemented new policies requiring staff to notify parents if their child expresses the desire to change their “gender identity.”
Just one day after the policies were approved, Gov. Murphy’s administration filed lawsuits against Middletown, Marlboro, and Manalapan-Englishtown school districts.
The lawsuits are seeking a temporary restraining order to block the policies across New Jersey.
Middletown school district’s policy would require teachers and other school staff to notify parents when their child indicates that they believe they are “transgender.”
Red flags would be raised by the schools if a child chooses to change their name or pronouns or requests to use a restroom that does not align with their biological sex.
The lawsuit was filed by New Jersey Attorney General Matt Platkin against the kindergarten through 12th-grade district.
Platkin claims that the notification policy could “irreparably harm transgender students.”
“‘Outing’ transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary students against their will poses serious mental health risks; threatens physical harm to students, including increased risk of suicide; and shirks the District’s duty to create a safe and supportive learning environment for all,” Platkin’s lawsuit alleges.
Murphy’s administration claims the policies should be tossed for “unlawful discrimination against transgender, gender non-conforming, and non-binary students” that could cause “drastic, irreversible harms.”
“In New Jersey, we will not tolerate any action by schools that threatens the health and safety of our young people,” Platkin stated.
“Without question, the discriminatory policies passed by these Boards of Education, if allowed to go into effect, will harm our kids and pose a severe risk to their safety.”
“Simply put, these policies violate our laws, and we will not relent in protecting our LGBTQ+ community — especially our children — from discrimination.”
Last month, Murphy criticized a similar policy rolled out by the Hanover Township Board of Education.
The governor claimed that “requiring staff to ‘out’ LGBTQ students to their parents violates the rights of our students — jeopardizing their well-being and mental health.”
Hanover Township Board of Education's new policy requiring staff to "out" LGBTQ students to their parents violates the rights of our students — jeopardizing their well-being and mental health.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 17, 2023
Murphy expressed support for Platkin’s efforts to challenge the policy.
Marlboro and Manalapan-Englishtown school districts, which serve kindergarten through eighth grade, implemented comparable policies that differed from Middletown’s regarding when parents should be notified and whether school officials should be included in the conversation.
Marlboro’s policy requires “the principal or designee” to first talk with the student before alerting parents.
Manalapan-Englishtown’s policy requires parents to be notified if their child requests accommodations regarding their gender identity.
Marlboro school board attorney Marc Zitomer claimed that nothing about the district’s policy could be considered “discriminatory” or “improper.”
“It is our position that keeping parents in the dark about important issues involving their children is counterintuitive and contrary to well-established U.S. Supreme Court case law that says that parents have a constitutional right to direct and control the upbringing of their children,” Zitomer stated.