The worst part of the NJ gender curriculum — even if you like it (Opinion)
So the big news is that Phil Murphy is willing to take another look at the controversial gender curriculum that he okayed and put into place to start this September.
The new education standards that were slated to begin this fall include “the range of ways people express their gender and how gender role stereotypes may limit behavior." So many parents on both sides of the political spectrum complained about it to their legislators that he simply had to back down at least a little and agreed that he would “entertain” some changes.
Now, If something is even too radical for Phil Murphy, enough for him to actually backpedal a little on it, it definitely makes me wonder how bad it really is.
I pored through a proposed lesson plan that had been leaked online. See it for yourself here.
And while the entire thing is way out of bounds of a public education system, and in my opinion only belongs in the family sphere, one part of this particular lesson plan, which is based on the state curriculum standards, sums up the entire problem with it: It’s going to confuse kids more than even if they woke up one day and felt confused all by themselves.
It’s this: (To put into context, this is a lesson plan that an advocacy group proposed for the second grade. Kids here are 7 and 8)
“…this lesson refers to “girls” and “boys” when identifying body parts. The use of a binary construct of gender as well as using gender (boys and girls) rather than the more accurate biological sex (male and female) is purposeful given the developmental stage of students. Lessons in higher grades use more precise language and begin to introduce a broader concept of gender. This lesson does, however, acknowledge that “there are some body parts that mostly just girls have and some parts that mostly just boys have. Being a boy or a girl doesn’t have to mean you have those parts, but for most people this is how their bodies are.” And, “Most people have a vulva and a vagina or a penis and testicles but some people’s bodies can be different. Your body is exactly what is right for you.”
I barely understand this. And I’ve got several years over these kids.
Let's assume that we are all OK with the idea of teaching gender issues to young kids (I’m not writing this to debate that). But if there was one thing that stood out to make you question whether this whole thing is productive or confusing it’s that little snippet of word goulash.
It’s not worth it to spark anxiety in the vast majority of kids who are not going to wake up one day and realize they are trans, just to assuage a couple of kids who might.
Let those kids parents deal with their own challenges.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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