NJ attorney general steps in after fractious votes on school trans policies
🔴 Attorney General Matt Platkin filed for injunctions to stop the changes
🔴 Marlboro is confident their policy will withstand a legal challenge
🔴 Manalapan/Englishtown said a parent, not a child, determine gender identity
Attorney General Matt Platkin has filed discrimination lawsuits against three Monmouth County Boards of Education following votes Tuesday night to change their respective district transgender policies.
Despite impassioned pleas from parents and members of the LGBTQ community, the Manalapan, Marlboro and Middletown school boards approved updates to their district policy 5756 which would require parents to be informed if their child changes their gender identity.
Emergency motions were also filed in Superior Court requesting preliminary injunctions and temporary restraints to prevent all three of the policies from going into effect while the lawsuits are pending.
“Simply put, these policies violate our laws, and we will not relent in protecting our LGBTQ+ community—especially our children—from discrimination," Attorney General Matt Platkin said in a statement.
“In New Jersey, we will not tolerate any action by schools that threatens the health and safety of our young people. Without question, the discriminatory policies passed by these Boards of Education, if allowed to go into effect, will harm our kids and pose severe risk to their safety."
"School policies that single out or target LGBTQ+ youth fly in the face of our State’s longstanding commitment to equality,” Sundeep Iyer, director of the Division on Civil Rights said in a statement. “Our laws prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, plain and simple, and we will not waver in our commitment to enforcing those protections.”
Each of the changed policies is essentially the same in terms of informing parents.
"Because the Marlboro Public School District is a Pre-K-9 district with no high school, the Board believes that greater parental involvement is required because of the age and maturity level of its student-body," the Marlboro policy now says.
Marlboro Board of Education attorney Marc Zitomer told New Jersey 101.5 the new policy would withstand legal challenge from the state.
"While we hope not to become embroiled in litigation with the state over our decision to involve parents in important issues affecting their minor children, we are confident that our policy revisions will withstand any potential legal challenges that are mounted against us," Zitomer said in an email.
Same changes, different wording
The Middletown and Manalapan/Englishtown policy changes accepted a student's "asserted gender identity" without parental approval. But once they requested a "public social transition accommodation" such as a public name/identity/pronoun change or bathroom/locker room accommodation, a parent would be notified which goes against the state policy.
Manalapan-Englishtown also says the responsibility for determining the gender identity of a student in pre-K through 5th grade lies with a parent or guardian.
The Colts Neck Board of Education is also due to consider changing its policy. The policy was not brought up at the June 14 meeting.