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NJ School Board Attorney: “The right of parents is not to dictate what their children are taught”

At a Lawrence Township Board of Education meeting in New Jersey, the school board’s attorney, John Comegno, informed parents that t was not their right to dictate what their children are taught. His comments were made following parent concerns about the district’s transgender policy.


From the New York Post:

“In public schools, we have curriculum that is aligned with New Jersey state learning standards,” Comegno said.

“But please know … if your students attend these awesome schools, they’re going to be instructed in this curriculum, which is consistent with state learning standards,” he continued. “That’s not binding. If you choose to have your child attend elsewhere, that’s your right. That’s your right as a parent.”

Comegno’s comments were made following parent criticisms of the district’s transgender policy, Policy 5756, which is mandated by state law. The policy was adopted in 2016 and revised three years later.

The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, the district policy states, “generally makes it unlawful for schools to subject individuals to differential treatment based on gender identity or expression.”

The policy also says the district “shall accept a student’s asserted gender identity” and that “parental consent is not required.”

“A student need not meet any threshold diagnosis or treatment requirements to have his or her gender identity recognized and respected by the school district, school, or school staff members,” the policy reads. “In addition, a legal or court-ordered name change is not required. 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 New Jersey learning standards state that a board of education “shall include instruction on the political, economic, and social contributions of persons with disabilities and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, in an appropriate place in the curriculum of middle school and high school students as part of the district’s implementation” of the state’s learning standards.


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