Gov. Murphy Defends Administration’s Plan To Sue School Districts Over Gender Identity Policies

By: Paige Britt, Follow South Jersey Intern

SOUTH JERSEY – Governor Phil Murphy recently spoke out against several school districts’ policies to inform parents of their child’s expressed gender identity in school. 

Throughout this year there have been a few New Jersey school boards that have implemented policies that state parents are to be told if their child indicates they may be transgender. Attorney General Matt Platkin has sued school districts in Hanover, Manalapan-Englishtown, Marlboro, and Middletown. 

The State Attorney General’s office released a statement in defense of the lawsuits. 

“The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination flatly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, and we are firmly committed to taking swift action in response to any policy that violates that prohibition,” the announcement stated. 

Attorney for Marlboro’s school board Marc Zitomer said that they stand by the policy and believe it protects both students and parents. 

“We vehemently disagree with the Attorney General’s argument that it is somehow discriminatory or improper to notify a parent that their minor child is changing their gender identity or expression,” Zitomer stated. “It is our position that keeping parents in the dark about important issues involving their children is counterintuitive and contrary to well-established U.S. Supreme Court case law that says that parents have a constitutional right to direct and control the upbringing of their children.” 

In response to the backlash, Governor Murphy defended his administration’s decision to sue the school districts. 

“We took these actions because it’s the right thing to do to protect these precious young people,” Murphy said. “Parents are always involved, certainly in our administration. They’re always at the table, and they always will be. But let’s be smart about this. Let’s protect the rights of these precious kids.”

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