NJ school officials stand firm on new sex education standards – New Jersey Monitor

by | May 4, 2022 | Education

New Jersey education officials didn’t act Wednesday to change new state standards on health and sex education, despite outcry from some parents, lawmakers, and even members of the board that passed the standards.
Acting Education Commissioner Angelica Allen-McMillan spoke for nearly a half-hour during the state Board of Education’s monthly meeting, saying she “wholeheartedly disagrees” with critics who oppose the new standards.
“It is a disservice and actively harmful to deny our students medically accurate, age- and developmentally appropriate information about their bodies, and about the personal and interpersonal relationships that shape childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood,” Allen-McMillan said.
New Jersey adopted the new standards without much fanfare in 2020, but complaints erupted in recent weeks after state Sen. Holly Schepisi (R-Bergen) last month posted sample lesson plans — created by a Washington, D.C., sex-education group — that Schepisi called highly sexualized and age-inappropriate. Criticism since then has centered on concerns about what schools might teach about pornography, masturbation, and gender identity and expression.
The pushback prompted Gov. Phil Murphy to direct the Department of Education to review the standards and clarify guidelines for what’s age-appropriate.
Four members of the state school board sent Allen-McMillan a letter Tuesday urging her to remove “some of the more controversial and graphic language” in the standards, according to NJ Spotlight. The letter also asked her to convene a committee of expe …

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