New Jersey Requiring Gender Identity Training For Second Graders

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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New Jersey is preparing to teach gender identity to second graders as part of the state’s new sex education standards that will take effect in Fall 2022.

Second grade public school students in New Jersey are expected to grasp “21st Century skills and themes,” including the “range of ways people express their gender and how gender role stereotypes may limit behavior,” according to New Jersey’s 2020 published standards, which will be required in classrooms by September 2022.

Teachers are required by New Jersey state law to meet different performance expectations, including identifying “trusted adults” in the student’s life that “can talk to about relationships and ask questions about puberty and adolescent health.” New Jersey teachers will be required to talk to students, as young as seven, about the “different kinds of families” and educate students on what the state agrees are “healthy relationships within a family.”

Westfield New Jersey Public Schools gave potential lesson plans to parents attending the Westfield Board of Education’s Feb. 22 meeting, reported Fox News. One lesson plan, provided in a dropbox folder, expects teachers to read The Family Book by Todd Parr which discusses adoption, same-sex parents, and single-parent homes.

The state standards will also require teachers to instruct students about typical gender stereotypes.

“All individuals should feel welcome and included regardless of their gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation,” the state’s top “core idea” in social and sexual health stated. The standards show that second-grade students in New Jersey are expected to grasp descriptions of “gender-role stereotypes and their potential impact” and the difference between sexual orientation and gender identity.

The Pink, Blue and Purple lesson plan, located in the dropbox and aligns with state standards, instructs teachers to provide a lesson plan to children on gender identity where the expectation is for the student to define “gender, gender identity and gender role stereotypes.”

“You might feel like you’re a boy even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘girl’ parts,” the lesson plan states. “You might feel like you’re a girl even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘boy’ parts. And you might not feel like you’re a boy or a girl, but you’re a little bit of both.”

The Westfield Board of Education’s sample lesson plan, Understanding our Bodies, seeks to have second graders identify human anatomy with medically accurate terminology for genitals. Teachers are expected to complete the lesson while using the “binary construct of gender” instead of using “the more accurate biological sex (male and female),” the lesson plan states.

“Being a boy or a girl doesn’t have to mean you have those parts,” the lesson plan reads.

It asks teachers to define for the class the medical terminology for female and male genitals before asking for second-grade volunteers to label with a post-it note – clitoris, urethra, vulva, vagina, penis scrotum, testicles, anus and nipples.

The standards show puberty will also be taught to second graders. Teachers are expected to explain to young children the process of human sexual development and the role of hormones, including “romantic and sexual feelings, masturbation, mood swings, [and] timing of pubertal onset.”

A Westfield Public Schools spokesperson, Superintendent Dr. Raymond González, defended the lesson plans to Fox News Digital, arguing they are not required by the state but do align with New Jersey educational standards.

“During a presentation at the Feb. 22 Board of Education meeting, we provided an update on the district’s work to revise the Comprehensive Health and Physical Education curriculum,” González said. “We made it clear at the meeting and subsequent meetings that these are resources only – they are not state-mandated – and that the district is in the process of developing its revised curriculum to meet state standards.”

New Jersey GOP communications director, Alexandra Wilkes, told the outlet these lesson plans show Democratic New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy believes “he knows better how to parent your children than you do.”

“The shocking, graphic materials taught to children barely old enough to read and write fly in the face of the Democrats’ insistence on the campaign trail last fall that critics of these new standards were exaggerating or even bigoted for raising concerns in the first place,” Wilkes told Fox. “Democrats lied to parents, belittled and shamed them for wanting a say in their children’s education, and they’re about to find out this November what happens when you mess with other people’s kids.”