Sex education in New Jersey schools goes way too far (Opinion)
It's one thing to teach kids about reproduction and biology in school. Most parents are understandably uncomfortable with some subjects and knowledge is power. That said, when do knowledge and education transform into the propaganda that can cause confusion and harm?
In my opinion, the new Department of Education rules for teaching kids in 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade about sex acts and gender identity goes too far.
Part of the problem was on display in Kinnelon, NJ, where parents called the show upset and outraged that they were not informed about a transgender speaker in the middle school. We have had the conversation about "gender dysphoria" on the show several times and it is certainly a serious condition that impacts a small minority of Americans.
The first problem with the new education curriculum is that it was pushed through over the summer of 2020 while the state was locked down and parents and families were struggling to get through the devastating economic and social crisis happening throughout the country.
We hear from parents throughout the morning objecting to the fact that the new curriculum both "sexualizes" the classroom and is happening without input and in some cases without notice to parents.
I was joined by Greg Quinlan who heads a Christian organization, The Center for Garden State Families. We discussed the fact that there is such a thing as biology, DNA, and male and female.
The curriculum seems to take only one position, that if a child is confused, the solution is a transition. I raised the question regarding presenting the other side.
As much as many modern psychologists will discuss "gender assignment" at birth as if it is arbitrary and not related to biology, why not hear from faith leaders about the difference between men and women as God's creation? Why is it only acceptable in a public school setting to accept one side? Especially a side that in the minds of many parents is politically motivated and adds confusion and anxiety to kids who are already in a difficult state of mind.
I had a measured conversation with a mom of a transgender kid and she did not completely disagree with my position.
In Florida, a bill just passed that prevents this kind of sexual study in grade school. Beyond the discussion of how to help kids who have gender dysphoria or are otherwise struggling with gender identity, there is the issue of parental rights. Parents have a right to have a say in what is taught in schools and right now the state of New Jersey favors the opinion of the NJEA and political activists over parents. That has to change before we can discuss how to best help kids develop into strong, confident adults.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Spadea. Any opinions expressed are Bill's own. Bill Spadea is on the air weekdays from 6 to 10 a.m., talkin’ Jersey, taking your calls at 1-800-283-1015.