Gender: New Jersey Parents Last To Know

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The state of New Jersey has a new regulation in its Department of Education: a provision that prevents schools from informing parents of their child’s preferred gender and gender pronouns. New Jersey became the eleventh state to have a specific gender provision in its state regulations, per The local newspaper claimed that the rules are “intended to promote a safe and successful learning environment for [children].”

The regulation, which was signed into law by former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, says that gender identity decisions reside with the student, not the parents, despite the fact that students are children and not adults in the eyes of the law. Typically, the legal and education systems lean heavily on parental notice and authority in issues surrounding children.

The guidance includes the following rules:

~School staff must use a student’s preferred name and gender pronoun in all communications, verbal, written and in e-mails,

~Students can participate in athletics according to whichever gender they ascribe to,

~A student’s gender identity does not require paperwork, such as a legal name change, diagnosis or treatment,

~Students can freely access restrooms, locker rooms and changing facilities according to their gender identity

~The student’s birth name must be kept confidential by the school

As NorthJersey reported, the New Jersey Education Commissioner, Lamont Repollet, said school officials should have an “open yet confidential discussion” with the student about privacy issues and their preferred name, because “[i]t’s the obligation of all educators to provide a safe and welcoming school environment so all students throughout the state can achieve their full potential.”