Ocean County, NJ Legislators push for parental transparency with content in school libraries
As new changes to school curriculums are currently being discussed and debated ahead of implementation later this year, a trio of Ocean County State Legislators are hoping to add further transparency in allowing parents to be informed what their children are being taught.
In an effort to present parents with more information so they could shape more informed educational decisions for their children heading to public schools, State Senator Jim Holzapfel (R-10) along with Assemblymen Greg McGuckin (R-10) and John Catalano (R-10) announced that they've introduced legislation that would require public schools to post "a comprehensive list of all resources available in school libraries to their website to better inform parents of potentially inappropriate materials their children can access."
The Ocean County legislators are seeking transparency for parents as well as ensuring there are appropriate books and learning materials in school libraries.
Their bill, S-2722/A-3887, would require each public school with a library to post a comprehensive list of every resource that is available in the library on the school website which they said includes books, periodicals, DVDs, and databases and would also required notification via website posting about any new resource ordered or purchased within 10 days of the order or purchase.
“When most people think of school libraries, they probably imagine a room full of old, classic books along and a few computers scattered here and there. While this may have been true a decade or two ago, school libraries nowadays contain far more resources than just books, and many parents may be shocked to see exactly what materials are available to their children,” Senator Holzapfel said in a written statement. “Today’s modern library contains access to all sorts of controversial topics, including books and articles about critical race theory (CRT)—which indoctrinates students with the absurd belief that people are inherently privileged, oppressive, or morally deficient due to little more than the circumstances of their birth. This legislation will make sure that public schools list all of this information online so that parents know precisely what type of information is accessible by their children.”
“School libraries are designed to be a helpful resource so that students can conduct research in a safe and supportive environment,” Assemblyman McGuckin said in a written statement. “However, the Murphy Administration seems to have no problem allowing information about CRT and gender identity to creep into our school libraries. Our goal with this legislation is to increase transparency between the information available in schools and the general public.”
The Ocean County 10th District lawmakers voted against New Jersey’s new sex education standards being implemented in the fall of 2022.
“From kindergarten to twelfth grade, there’s no doubt that school libraries have historically played an important role in a student’s academic development,” Assemblyman Catalano said in a written statement. “The issue now is that we have a social and political agenda that is being foisted on our children. Parents deserve the right to know what kind of information their kids have access to in the classroom. Making that information publicly available on school websites is the most effective way to do this.”