What has frustrated parents and school boards in blue-state New Jersey is Policy 5756, a transgender-affirming policy. It was adopted after a 2017 non-discrimination bill was signed into law by then-Gov. Chris Christie, according to an October story by liberal news website NJ.com. That story unhappily reported two months ago that numerous school districts across the state were on the verge of revolting, which was putting the “rights” of transgender students “at risk.”
Weingarten no dummy, just knows power of words
Steve Jordahl, AFN.net
Most parents would say choosing their child’s school sounds like freedom but teachers’ union president Randi Weingarten calls it evil and selfish.
Weingarten has watched the school-choice movement explode across the country, which is threatening the power and influence of the American Federation of Teachers.
Speaking at a recent public education conference, Weingarten said words such as “choice” and “parental” rights are buzzwords that are meant to “divide” parents and their child’s teachers.
Dr. Shea Bradley-Farrell, who leads the Counterpoint Institute, tells AFN the teachers’ union leader is not dumb. Weingarten knows what school choice means – and what it doesn’t mean – but her goal is to sow doubt in the mind of the public.
“You co-op the language,” explains Bradley-Farrell, an expert on Marxism and its ideology. “You make it seem like you're selling something to the country that's to benefit them.”
Another example of co-opted language is the term “social justice,” she says.
The pro-trans policy, adopted six years ago by 500 of 600 school districts according to the news story, requires public schools to cater to students who say they are opposite sex – transgender – by allowing students to use the restroom of their choice and to be called a made-up pronoun of their choice. The policy also allows school administrators to remain quiet if a student identifies as a new gender, meaning the school is not required to notify parents.
In an updated December story, this time from LifeSiteNews, Franklin Lakes Board of Education voted 5-4 to repeal the policy. On the same day, December 14, Westwood Regional School District voted to repeal the policy, too, in a more lopsided vote of 5-2.
Greg Quinlan, of the Center for Garden State Families, tells AFN the 2017 state law is “bad” legislation because it calls itself a non-discrimination law. In reality, he says, the law requires a public school to discriminate against students who don’t want the opposite sex in their restroom and playing on the same sports team.
The very worst part of Policy 5756, Quinlan says, is it allows an LGBT-affirming public school to keep parents in the dark about their own children.
“There's no affirmative action for a parent to be notified of a child's gender identity change in the school,” he says of the secret-keeping policy.
Despite the obvious conflict with parental rights, New Jersey's attorney general Matt Platkin sued several school districts over the summer when school boards began passing parental notification policies.
In defense of his lawsuits, Platkin even denied Policy 5756 restricts parents' rights. "To be clear: the state has never sought and never will seek a 'ban' on parental notification," said the attorney general who sued to maintain a policy he also said doesn't exist.
If they are finally paying attention, many parents are belatedly learning they are viewed as the enemy of their own child’s rainbow flag-waving teachers, who use their “affirming” classroom as incubator to teach transgender ideology.
If a student is convinced by the teacher to choose a new gender, a ban on parental notification protects the teacher and the school from the clueless parent ever tracing their child’s sudden transformation back to the classroom.
If that sounds unlikely, consider how Shino Tanikawa, a member of the New York Board of Regents, described parents during a summer meeting of that state education committee.
“There are parents actively fighting against what we are doing,” said Tanikawa, herself a former PTA leader. “We cannot be complacent. We have to fight this in every sphere we have influence in.”
Tanikawa, who has also publicly denounced white people, was voicing concerns about parents after the New York State Education Department released a 42-page how-to guide to help transgender, nonbinary, and intersex students “feel safe, supported and included.”
Meg Kilgannon, an education analyst at the Family Research Council, tells AFN it was “shocking” to hear a state regent have a hostile views of parents.
“It seems impossible to me that you would think that parents would not have the best interests of their children in mind,” she observes, “except in the very exceptional cases of abuse or neglect.”
Quinlan, meanwhile, says parents have to wake up and fight for their own kids.
“It’s time for school boards and parents to stand up against this juggernaut of the L-G-B-T-Q-I-A-X-Y-Z-plus-plus-plus agenda,” Quinlan, mocking the always-expanding definition, says.