NJ Public Education Advocates Issue “Petition” Demanding Guidance on the NJSLS-CHPE Mandate and Enforcement by the NJ Attorney General

NJ Public Education Advocates Issue “Petition” Demanding Guidance on the NJSLS-CHPE Mandate and Enforcement by the NJ Attorney General

In a March 14th Press Release, the New Jersey Public Education Coalition requested guidance with regard to Local School districts that are failing to completely implement the 2020 NJ Student Learning Standard for Comprehensive Health and Physical Education. Research and observations of local School Districts and Boards of Education by NJPEC volunteers indicate that numerous districts across New Jersey are exploring and implementing ways to avoid what they consider to be “objectionable elements” of the state’s Health and Physical Education mandate (2020 NJSLS-CHPE).

Notably, the “objectionable elements” in the mandated curriculum 1) give students the language necessary to report sexual abuse, 2) encourage safe sex practices to prevent

pregnancy, 3) provide factual information on vaginal, anal and oral sex and their

connection to the transmission of STI/STDs, 4) support each student’s right to say “no”

and show them how to set limits and 5) improve understanding of gender identity and

gender expression issues.

 

The avoidance mechanisms being used by local districts are: 1) removing certain

mandated standards from their curriculum; 2) relegating topics to be taught by parents

at home; 3) making elements of the mandate a homework assignment rather than taught by professionals in the classroom; 4) making it the subject of an in-school

assembly; 5) teaching it on the last day of the school year and/or 6) require students to

be “opted-in” to the curriculum as opposed to “opted-out” in violation of N.J.S.A.18A:35-

4.7. Many districts are also looking at having mandated curriculum taught only to

students who opt in (through parental consent). Currently, the curriculum is mandatory

unless a student’s parent officially opts them out.

 

“Maneuvers like these eviscerate the intent and spirit of the mandate,” notes Michael

Gottesman, a retired attorney from Wayne NJ and founder of NJPEC. “And endanger

the safety of our school age children.”

 

“Of course, all subject matter is not intended for every age level and not every parent

will want the curriculum taught to their child,” Gottesman points out, “and that is why

parents retain the ability to have their child opted-out of the program or portions of it.

The objections of those parents must be honored. But they cannot force their viewpoint

on another parent’s child.”

 

NJPEC considers these avoidance actions a violation of the School Board Code of

Ethics, the School Ethic Act (N.J.S.A. 18A:12-21 et seq.), the NJ School Ethics

Commission Advisory Opinion A-12-22, the Board of Education member sworn oath of

office, New Jersey education law, in particular, NJSA 18A:35-4.7 and potentially, the

New Jersey Law Against Discrimination, N.J.S.A. 10:5-1 et seq.

 

NJPEC has created and will be posting a Petition for support by any resident of the

State of New Jersey, demanding action and/or guidance by/from the Commissioner of

Education, Department of Education, NJ State Board of Education, and the Office of the

Governor to address these issues. Further, the Petition demands that the New Jersey

Office of the Attorney General begin enforcement of the 2020 NJSLS CHPE mandate.

 

The petition may be downloaded using the following link: https://www.njpecoalition.org/petition

 

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THE NEW JERSEY PUBLIC EDUCATION COALITION (NJPEC) is a non-partisan group of educators, administrators, municipal leaders, parents, and concerned citizens who seek to protect our public schools and communities from right-wing extremism.

Education Truth Project is a Federal Political Action Committee that works with and sponsors the activities of NJPEC. Education Truth Project PAC main purpose is to educate the public on real issues facing public schools and Boards of Education.
www.educationtruthproject.org
info@educationtruthproject.org

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