(Daily Caller News Foundation) – The New Jersey State Board of Education adopted an “equity” policy Wednesday, changing all gender terms such as “men and women” with the word “persons” to make the language neutral, according to NJ Spotlight News.
In a 6-5 vote, the state Board of Education approved a new equity code replacing all mentions of “equality” in the state’s administrative code with “equity,” according to NJ Spotlight News. The code also requires schools to separate students for sexual education classes on the basis of gender identity rather than biological sex.
“Deleting ‘equality’ and replacing it with ‘equity,’ and placing the focus on to the social causes of a few, does the opposite” of educating students, Republican state Sen. Edward Durr and Republican state Sen. Steven Oroho wrote in a letter to the board, according to N.J.com.
Having sexual education classes on the basis of gender identity rather than biological sex would affect girls who would now have males joining them in class, the board’s Vice President Andrew Mulvihill argued, according to the New Jersey Monitor.
“It is discriminatory to me to have girls that want to be in one class and have all girls there talking about this issue, and you send a boy in there — from their perspective or some people’s perspective — that’s the issue. I think it’s discrimination,” Mulvihill said at the meeting, according to the New Jersey Monitor.
The decision to approve the policy was met with pushback from parental rights advocates who opposed the adoption of the policy and the switch to gender-neutral language, NJ Spotlight News reported. Upon the conclusion of the meeting, members of the parental rights organization noted that the board “will be sued,” N.J.com reported.
In New Jersey, three school districts have been sued by the state attorney general after they adopted policies which require educators to reveal a student’s transgender identity to parents. The state’s Department of Education Transgender Guidance notes that “a school district shall accept a student’s asserted gender identity” and that “parental consent is not required.”
Throughout the country, parents, lawmakers and school boards are debating how sports, bathrooms and locker rooms should be separated; on Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union sued a Missouri school that refused to let a boy use the girls’ restroom. Republican Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s administration released guidance in July that requires public school athletics, as well as school bathrooms and locker rooms, to be separated on the basis of biological sex.