New Jersey is now the second state in the country requiring schools to teach about LGBT history, a move that has been criticized by local pastors and family value advocates.
Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill Jan. 31 enacting the change.
Public schools must include lessons about the economic, social, and political contributions of gay and transgender individuals beginning in the 2020-21 school year. The law does not apply to private schools.
Len Deo, president of the New Jersey Family Policy Council, said the legislation restricts the rights of parents and takes the country further away from the Judeo-Christian principles and precepts upon which it was founded.
Parents, Deo said, must be more aggressive in teaching their children what they are going to be exposed to in the public schools, especially those things that are in opposition to their Christian values.
“We have to hold onto and embrace those Christian beliefs above everything else. We have to take a more proactive role in standing up for what we believe in,” Deo said. “We are the primary educators of our children. We can’t just leave it up to the public schools to educate our children. It is very hard to undo something once it has been put into law.”
California was the first state to enact such a change. It did so in 2011 and lessons about the LGBT communities were first taught there in 2012.
Kathryn Dixon, Northern New Jersey policy coordinator for GLSEN, said that by teaching about lesbian, gay, transgender, and bisexual communities at school, students will feel more connected, which will help their mental health and ability to learn, NorthJersey.com reported.
Twitter users expressed their dislike of the change.
One user, Cindy Allen, called the move “completely inappropriate.” Another user, Matt Rooney said, “Teaching kids what (not how) to think is what passes for “education” these days.”
On Facebook, Pastor Ed Ramirez, of Harvest Outreach International in Paterson, strongly opposed the legislation, writing, “NJ wake up!” and encouraging Christians to contact Gov. Murphy regarding “the indoctrination of our children.”
“We cannot stay silent!” Ramirez said.
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