New sex education standards become target in NJ – New Jersey Monitor

by | Apr 14, 2022 | Education

Last year, Scott Shields hired a painter for his house who was a transgender man. When his two children unknowingly misgendered the painter, Shields pulled them aside to explain pronouns.
His children, who are in kindergarten and third grade, had already been introduced to different genders, so they grasped the concept easily, he said.
“Once I corrected them, they got it. Kids get these things, and it seems to me like the earlier kids understand these concepts, the easier they are to process later,” he said. “I don’t think they know about hormones or reassignment surgery because that’s not for their age.”
Shields is a parent who’s supportive of New Jersey’s updated sex education standards, set to be rolled out in schools in the fall and currently the target of conservative parents and Republican lawmakers. One called them “Trenton’s assault on parental rights.”
For second graders, the new standards mean teachers discussing gender role stereotypes and how people can express how they feel. By the end of fifth grade, students should be able to differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity. 
And by eighth grade, teachers should be developing a plan to promote dignity and respect for all gender expressions, and students should know the difference between genders, gender identity, and sexual orientation. In 12th grade, students will learn about birth control options, STDs, and consent. 
“It …

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