NJ adults in poll: Schools should notify parents of gender identity changes
🏫 Most NJ adults support parental notification for gender identity, a poll finds
🏫 More than half say they know someone who is transgender
🏫 Legislation being crafted aims to take on NJ's lawsuit against 3 school districts
Republican state lawmakers are fighting back against New Jersey's attempt to reverse select school districts' policies on parental notification regarding gender identity, and they have the support of most New Jerseyans.
In a Monmouth University Poll released on Tuesday, 77% of New Jersey adults — including 81% of parents — said that middle schools and high schools should be required to notify parents if their child wants to be identified as a different gender.
Required notification received 92% support from Republicans in the poll, 61% support from Democrats, and 81% support from independents.
When the poll took a notification requirement out of the equation, more than half of New Jersey adults said that schools should still act on their own to notify a parent of a gender identity change.
New Jersey sues school districts over gender policies
Three school districts in Monmouth County are being sued by the New Jersey Attorney General's Office for their policies that would require schools to notify parents when their child asks to be identified by a different gender.
On Friday, a Superior Court judge issued a preliminary injunction that prevents the districts from implementing their policies while the lawsuit plays out. Judge David Bauman sided with the state, which argues that the policies are discriminatory and would disproportionately impact transgender students.
In response to the ruling, lawmakers in New Jersey's 10th legislative district have announced plans to introduce a bill that would require parental notification in these matters by schools throughout the Garden State.
"If I had a child in school now, I'd want to know everything that's going on with my child," Assemblyman John Catalano, R-Ocean, told New Jersey 101.5.
Catalano and his colleagues are calling on the New Jersey Legislature to return to Trenton for a special session in order to "rein in" Gov. Phil Murphy's "woke agenda."
“It is abundantly clear that Governor Murphy and our activist attorney general are going after schools who do not support their radical identity politics," said Sen. Jim Holzapfel, R-Brick. "Not only is this misguided, but it is also utterly absurd that they are actively trying to take away parental rights."
Monmouth polls NJ adults on gender issues
In the new Monmouth University Poll, 45% of New Jersey adults said the state's public schools are doing too much when it comes to teaching about gender identity. Twenty-three percent said they're doing the right amount, and 16% said they're not doing enough.
Sixty percent of respondents said they approve of teaching high school students about "the range of ways people express their gender." For grades sixth through eighth, support dips to 42%, and support drops to 22% for teaching about this topic in elementary school.
"It does seem clear that a large cross section of New Jerseyans are uncomfortable with discussing these issues in elementary school even though the state has different gender identity education standards for various grade levels," said Patrick Murray, director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute. "An open question is to what extent those distinctions are understood by the public."
More than half of the poll's respondents said they believe that whether someone is a man or woman is determined by their sex at birth, and a little more than a third said someone can be different from the sex they're assigned at birth. Still, 53% said they do know someone who is transgender.
In the poll, one's political party appears to be a much more influential factor than any other demographic. Republicans, for example, are widely opposed to teaching gender identity at all grade levels, and more opposed than Democrats to permit students to participate in certain classes or activities based on their gender identity.
A majority of residents said transgender students should take sex education classes and use restrooms with students who are the same sex as they were assigned at birth.