Rutgers-Eagleton Poll: Teachers Should Keep Transgender Students’ Identity Confidential

The New Jersey Statehouse and Capitol Building In Trenton

After much debate among politicians and parents alike over school privacy policies regarding transgender students in the fall, New Jerseyans believe teachers shouldn’t share a student’s transgender identity with their parents if the student doesn’t feel safe coming out, according to the latest Rutgers-Eagleton Poll.

Fifty-four percent say a teacher shouldn’t be required by law to inform a student’s parents about their transgender identity if a student confides such information to them and says they don’t feel safe coming out to their parents, according to the poll conducted in December.

Similarly, 55 percent say teachers shouldn’t feel a personal need to inform a student’s parents. The difference in question wording – a teacher’s own choice versus being legally required – does not produce any significant difference in opinion. In either case, about 3 in 10 say the teacher should tell the parents, and roughly 15 percent are unsure what should be done.

“A majority of New Jerseyans side with the state’s transgender student guidance that outlines the need for confidentiality and privacy among school personnel regarding a student’s transgender status,” said Ashley Koning, an assistant research professor and director of the Eagleton Center for Public Interest Polling (ECPIP) at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “Residents in the state prioritize this health and safety measure to a much greater extent than adults do nationally, where views are divided on similar questions.”

Most New Jerseyans believe transgender children either “frequently” (63 percent) or “occasionally” (20 percent) experience depression and anxiety. Similar numbers believe transgender children are either “frequently” or “occasionally” bullied by other children (53 percent and 26 percent, respectively) and verbally harassed (51 percent and 26 percent, respectively).

Seven in 10 say transgender children “frequently” (37 percent) or “occasionally” (34 percent) experience disapproval from their parents; slightly more than half (20 percent “frequently” and 31 percent “occasionally”) say the same about experiencing disapproval from teachers. Two-thirds say transgender children “frequently” (30 percent) or “occasionally” (34 percent) experience physical abuse.

“New Jerseyans appear generally aware of the negative experiences transgender youth may encounter, at home or in school,” said Jessica Roman, a research associate at ECPIP. “According to the 2023 National Survey on the Mental Health of LGBTQ Young People conducted by the Trevor Project, nearly three-quarters of transgender and nonbinary young people experience symptoms of anxiety and more than 6 in 10 experience symptoms depression. More than a quarter (27 percent) reported having been physically threatened or harmed in the past year because to their gender identity.”

“Statistics paint a clear picture of the ramifications of potentially outing a student to their family when they may come from an unsafe home,” said Koning. “National data shows us trans and nonbinary youth report feeling affirmed more frequently at school than home. This affirmation – wherever it may come from – plays a role in well-being and lowers suicide attempt risk.”

A plurality of every demographic believes teachers should keep a student’s transgender identity confidential, with the exception of Republicans – 34 percent of this group say teachers shouldn’t tell parents, versus 54 percent who say they should be legally required to do so (48 percent when the question omits legal requirements). New Jerseyans who identify as LGBQ+[1] are the most likely of any group to say teachers shouldn’t legally be required to divulge this information (74 percent), followed by Democrats (72 percent), those ages 18 to 34 (65 percent), and women (61 percent).

Republicans are consistently – often by double digits – less likely than independents or especially Democrats to say transgender children “frequently” experience bullying, disapproval, mental health issues, verbal harassment and physical abuse. Independents say transgender children have these experiences to a lesser degree than Democrats, with about 20-point gaps when it comes to bullying, mental health issues and harassment.

Women are consistently more likely than men, residents ages 18 to 24 are consistently more likely than those in older age cohorts, and those who know someone who is transgender or transgender themselves are more likely than those who don’t or aren’t to believe transgender children “frequently” experience these issues. Residents who identify as LGBQ+ are especially more likely to say transgender children experience these issues “frequently” compared with their heterosexual counterparts.

Nearly half of New Jerseyans (48 percent) say they know someone who is transgender and/or identify as transgender themselves. More than half of residents who identify as LGBQ+ (77 percent), those ages 18 to 34 years old (56 percent), those living in exurban areas (55 percent), residents in the highest income bracket (54 percent), Hispanic residents (53 percent), those who have done graduate work (53 percent), Democrats (51 percent), and independents (51 percent) know someone who is transgender and/or identify as transgender themselves. Only two demographic groups come in under 40 percent – Republicans (37 percent) and senior citizens (35 percent).

Results are from a statewide poll of 1,657 adults contacted through multiple modes, including by live interviewer on landline and cell phone, MMS text invitation to web, and the probability-based Rutgers-Eagleton/SSRS Garden State Panel from Dec. 13 to Dec. 23. The full sample has a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points. The registered voter subsample contains 1,451 registered voters and has a margin of error of +/- 3.0 percentage points.

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2 responses to “Rutgers-Eagleton Poll: Teachers Should Keep Transgender Students’ Identity Confidential”

  1. The Rutgers-Eagleton Poll should be shut down for being a public safety threat and for journalistic malpractice based on this recent fake polling. They polled 1,657 “adults” from highly skewed demographics: More than 50% are Democrats and Independents (Democrats in “drag”). Only 37% Republicans/Conservatives. They couch the words that their polling includes 77% of their polled subjects are LGBTQ. They attempt to say there are a lot more transgenders and gays out there, especially in New Jersey than there really is. How is it that peer-reviewed studies, analyses, reports and census counts show that Transgenders make up .02% of the entire U.S. population (~60,000 out of 330,000,000)??? And, why are the vast majority of us being subjected to Transgender programs and propaganda, and being taxed to promote these perverse and evil ideologies???

    How can anyone believe such a skewed poll conducted by the far-Left leaning Rutgers-Eagleton Poll??? This Poll, along with the Monmouth University Poll, are not credible polls due to their far-Left leaning bent.

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