The Battle of Monmouth… er… Middletown

Trump County in Middletown, NJ.

MIDDLETOWN – Critics told the school board Tuesday members would have “blood on their hands” and that a pending policy regarding transgender students was “evil and sinister.”

The strident rhetoric had no impact; the board adopted the policy requiring parental notification if students seek to change their name or pronoun, the bathroom they use or want to join a sports team that differs from their gender at birth.

The state Attorney General promptly sued the Middletown board in Monmouth County and two other nearby districts – Marlboro and Manalapan-Englishtown – for adopting similar policies.
All the boards’ actions occurred on the same night and the suit followed quickly. Talk about a modern version of the Battle of Monmouth.

This developing issue, however, is about more than historical trivia.

Gay students in general and transgender students in particular have become front and center in the so-called culture wars enveloping the nation and state. One cannot ignore the fact this is an issue being pushed by conservative groups across the nation. Republicans clearly think condemning a “woke” public education system is good politics.

The state AG previously sued the Hanover Township school district for a policy that singled out all gay students – not just transgender students – for parental notification. The board rewrote the policy to eliminate all references to LGBT students of any kind, but the suit remains pending.

The cornerstone of the often passionate debate is parents’ rights – the idea that parents have a right to know what their kids are doing in school.

Opponents of these policies do not say that parents have no rights regarding their children. What they say is that some gay and transgender students do not come from homes where their orientation would be accepted and supported by their parents.

At Tuesday’s meeting, one student estimated that there are 125 transgender students in the district and that more than half of them have contemplated suicide. While this is hard to prove objectively, the point is that transgender students who fear the wrath of their parents may do something drastic.

What gets lost sometimes in this debate is that many students – especially teens – do not tell their parents what they are doing. It’s not as if a kid who has a sexual experience of any kind runs home to tell his mother about it.

No matter, as was reiterated by a supporter of the board the other night, parental knowledge is a key issue here.

Most of those who spoke at the meeting, however, condemned the board; others protested outside.

A number of speakers identified themselves as transgender and said the adopted policy would have terrible ramifications for a small number of students.

In announcing litigation against all three districts, the AG’s office said the policies are discriminatory because they target only a particular group of students.

This was very much the same argument the state made in the Hanover case.

The presiding judge in that case, Stuart Minkowitz in Morristown, seemed to agree that parts of the policy were discriminatory. Rather than immediately rule on the matter, he asked both sides to work out a compromise, which led to Hanover rewriting the policy.

With that in mind, a few speakers in Middletown said they didn’t understand why the district would adopt a policy that is similar, although not identical, to one a court already has found unpersuasive.

That’s not a bad observation, but sometimes you can make gains in politics not by winning the war, but by just fighting the battle.

 

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3 responses to “The Battle of Monmouth… er… Middletown”

  1. As expected, New Jersey Attorney General Matthew Platkin has filed lawsuits against the school boards in Middletown, Marlboro and Manalapan over their decision to implement a requirement that teachers and administrators notify parents if a student shows any signs of changing their gender, such as using a different name, pronouns, or seeking to use a bathroom opposite their birth gender.

    Platkin is seeking an injunction preventing these boards from implementing their policies, similar to what has occurred in Hanover Township, which is under a similar court order.

    “On June 20, 2023, the (Middletown) Board passed a revised version of its Policy 5756 that discriminates against transgender students and certain gender non-conforming, non-binary, genderqueer and other gender-expansive students … in clear violation of New Jersey law,” wrote the Attorney General in his lawsuit against Middletown. “‘Outing’ these students against their will poses serious mental health risks; threatens physical harm to students, including risking increased suicides; decreases the likelihood students will seek support; and shirks the district’s obligation to create a safe and supportive learning environment for all. Indeed, LGBTQ+1 students in New Jersey and elsewhere have died by suicide after being outed. In New Jersey, we will not tolerate any action by schools that threatens the health and safety of our young people. Without question, the discriminatory policies passed by these Boards of Education, if allowed to go into effect, will harm our kids and pose severe risk to their safety”.

    Platkin is absolutely correct. It’s up to the individual–regardless of age–to decide if and when to “come out” to their family and/or friends. It’s not up to the teachers to have that burden placed on them, much less mandated.

    The transgender policies of the three Monmouth County school districts directly defies the NJ Department of Education’s own policy on transgender students, which says parents do not have to be informed of what their child does in school regarding gender. Students have a right to privacy that supersedes “parents’ rights”, which is NOT a concept granted by either the federal or state constitutions, or by any law.

    These school boards, by passing these illegal policies, are risking takeover by the state, as does Hanover Township, who simply don’t understand that you cannot thumb your nose at the state without repercussions. Their best course is to rescind these homophobic, transphobic regulations before Trenton does take them over. And the rest of the state needs to take notice.

  2. If the whole transgender nonsense is legal, then why are teachers using US Dept. of ED-funded online workshop last week to “trade tips” on how to break state laws protecting children from radical gender ideology and help transgender-identifying students transition at school without their parents knowing.

    A number of public school teachers have admitted to breaking state laws and are using federal funds to teach their colleagues how to violate laws protecting children. The Department of Education appears content in funding criminal activity, and the DOJ is too busy prosecuting Trump, covering up the Biden bribery scandal, targeting peaceful pro-lifers, and investigating “terrorist” parents at school board meetings to care.

    The frontal lobe of human brains isn’t fully developed until 25 years of age. That’s the part of the brain for decision-making and reasoning. This has been studied ad nauseum by neurosurgeons, neurologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, etc. for decades. How can a kindergartner or even a high school student be able to make a decision or reason what they want, becoming LGBTQ, when they aren’t even 25 years of age. Forcing these sexual perversions on children, or CRT on children, IS emotional, psychological, physical AND sexual child abuse.

    Apparently, AG Platkin, Governor Phil KNUCKLEHEAD Murphy and the NJEA and complicit teachers are PEDOPHILES and CHILD GROOMERS!!!! Parents should be organizing to demand long prison sentences for the AG, Gov., NJEA leaders and teachers involved.

    Scientific studies, perodicals, etc. on a child’s rational and decision-making part of the brain not being fully developed until 25 yrs. old are from experts and is being presented from both sides of the political spectrum–

    From Univ. of Rochester Med. Ctr.–Brain isn’t fully developed until 25: https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentTypeID=1&ContentID=3051#:~:text=The%20rational%20part%20of%20a,cortex%2C%20the%20brain's%20rational%20part.

    https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=141164708

    From the NIH: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2892678/

    From the Law Society of Scotland: https://www.lawscot.org.uk/news-and-events/legal-news/brain-not-fully-developed-until-age-25-research-reveals/

    https://mentalhealthdaily.com/2015/02/18/at-what-age-is-the-brain-fully-developed/

    From the American Psychological Association (“APA”): https://www.apa.org/monitor/julaug04/brain

    More about transgender influencers that interact with children can be found at these links:

    https://www.the11thhourblog.com/post/cutting-to-the-chase-youtube-s-bearded-and-breastless-transmen-a-salesforce-in-the-making-1

    https://www.the11thhourblog.com/post/cutting-to-the-chase-youtube-s-bearded-and-breastless-transmen-a-salesforce-in-the-making-2

    https://www.the11thhourblog.com/post/cutting-to-the-chase-youtube-s-bearded-and-breastless-transmen-a-salesforce-in-the-making-3

  3. f the whole transgender nonsense is legal, then why are teachers using US Dept. of ED-funded online workshop last week to “trade tips” on how to break state laws protecting children from radical gender ideology and help transgender-identifying students transition at school without their parents knowing. A number of public school teachers have admitted to breaking state laws and are using federal funds to teach their colleagues how to violate laws protecting children. The Department of Education appears content in funding criminal activity, and the DOJ is too busy prosecuting Trump, covering up the Biden bribery scandal, targeting peaceful pro-lifers, and investigating “terrorist” parents at school board meetings to care. The frontal lobe of human brains isn’t fully developed until 25 years of age. That’s the part of the brain for decision-making and reasoning. This has been studied ad nauseum by neurosurgeons, neurologists, psychiatrists, medical doctors, etc. for decades. How can a kindergartner or even a high school student be able to make a decision or reason what they want, becoming LGBTQ, when they aren’t even 25 years of age. Forcing these sexual perversions on children, or CRT on children, IS emotional, psychological, physical AND sexual child abuse. Apparently, AG Platkin, Governor Phil KNUCKLEHEAD Murphy and the NJEA and complicit teachers are PEDOPHILES and CHILD GROOMERS!!!! Parents should be organizing to demand long prison sentences for the AG, Gov., NJEA leaders and teachers involved.

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