New Jersey K-8 School: District ‘Shall Accept A Student’s Asserted Gender Identity’ Without Parental Consent

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Chrissy Clark Contributor
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A New Jersey public school’s policy states that “parental consent is not required” for students to use their preferred gender identity at school, according to a policy review conducted by a concerned parent organization.

Howell Township Public Schools, which is specifically dedicated to kindergarten through eighth grade, is reportedly including lessons on gender identity and social-emotional learning — commonly referred to as critical race theory — in curricula, according to a review by Parents Defending Education. The district’s Assistant Superintendent Bruce Preston published a letter discussing how the district teaches gender identity to students on April 14.

According to the district’s 2022 health curriculum, second-graders must be able to “discuss the range of ways people express their gender and how gender-role stereotypes may limit behavior,” by the end of the year. Eighth-graders are asked to “develop a plan for the school to promote dignity and respect for people of all genders, gender identities, gender expressions, and sexual orientations in the school community.”

Acceptance of leftist gender policy is not new to the district. In April 2019, the school’s Board of Education adopted a policy that allows students to choose their gender identity without a doctor’s note or parental consent.

“The school district shall accept a student’s asserted gender identity; parental consent is not required,” the policy reads. “There is no affirmative duty for any school district staff member to notify a student’s parent of the student’s gender identity or expression.”

The policy also claims that a district attorney would get involved if parents object to their minor child using preferred names and pronouns.

“In the event a parent objects to the minor student’s name change request, the Superintendent or designee should consult the Board Attorney regarding the minor student’s civil rights and protections,” the policy reads.

Despite parental objections, the policy tells staff members to “continue to refer to the student in accordance with the student’s chosen name and pronoun at school.” Parents may also be met with family counseling services.

The same policy claims that the district incorporates Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) concepts — an ideology steeped in the core tenets of critical race theory — “into the school culture and curricula.”

Transgender students are also allowed to participate in sports in “accordance with their gender identity” and use restrooms and locker rooms in accordance with their gender identity.

“All students are entitled to have access to restrooms, locker rooms, and changing facilities in accordance with their gender identity to allow for involvement in various school programs and activities,” the policy states.

Parents Defending Education President and Co-founder Nicki Neily told the Daily Caller that she believes the policies are a “flagrant disregard” to families.

“Howell Township’s policies demonstrate an astonishing, flagrant disregard for district families. The lack of parental consent and notification in and of itself is appalling,” Neily said. “To go as far as involving attorneys, at taxpayer’s expense, is truly an insult to injury.”

Howell Township School District did not respond to the Daily Caller’s request for comment.