October 27, 2022

Bill repealing controversial sex-ed curriculum, putting parents on advisory boards introduced in Assembly

TRENTON, N.J. – Following through on his public promise to repeal New Jersey’s controversial sex education curriculum, Assemblyman Alex Sauickie recently introduced a bill eliminating the state’s standards and empowering parents to inform future instruction.

“Unaccountable bureaucrats creating inappropriate learning standards and forcing their agenda on children and schools is an assault on common sense, our local educators and home rule,” Sauickie (R-Ocean) said. “This bill is about shifting the power to the local level so that parents, teachers, and boards of education are working together to develop a transparent and age-appropriate health and education curriculum.”

Approved by the state Board of Education in June 2020 during the height of Gov. Phil Murphy’s Covid-19 lockdowns, the health and physical education standards include topics such as gender identity and oral and anal sex for grades K-12. Sauickie’s bill (A4801) would rescind those standards and prohibit the state board from mandating any similar curriculum requirements. New health education curriculum standards would be adopted by local school boards within 180 days of the bill’s enactment.

“State officials have threatened school districts that fail to teach their appalling lesson plans. They’re aiming to divide parents and children, and schools and communities. I’m committed to putting a stop to it,” Sauickie said.

Under the bill, local boards of education would establish a parental advisory committee reflective of parents and guardians of students enrolled in the district. Its meetings must be open to the public.

“This measure is the opposite of a one-size-fits-all curriculum mandate, and it requires more transparency in the process. Community members are invested in the success of schools and students and should have the opportunity to be involved,” Sauickie added.

The bill also removes requirements that the state Department of Education provide sample learning activities, resources, or materials to local school districts on health and physical education topics.

“Some lesson plans that can be linked to the state’s standards are downright X-rated material,” Sauickie said. “Most people would find them completely objectionable, and I’ve personally heard from teachers who don’t want to teach these age-inappropriate subjects. We have to put children and their education and health needs ahead of the political activists with other priorities. Let children be children.”

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Education Committee.