Sussex County’s board of supervisors unanimously opposed the State Board of Education’s revised sex education standards during their Sept. 23 meeting.
Their resolution emphasized the role of a child’s parents or guardians, even after a child begins receiving formal education outside of their home, in guiding a child’s education. The revised standards adopted by New Jersey’s Department of Education “interfere with a parent’s rights to teach their own children about these sensitive matters in a manner that comports with their core family values and beliefs,” the supervisors said.
On June 2, the State Board of Education passed the new Student Learning Standards for all curriculum areas, including Comprehensive Health and Physical Education, which includes sex education. The board said the state’s sex education standards were in need of improvement, and adopted standards modeled on the National Sexuality Education Standards. The newly adopted standards in New Jersey feature an updated and more comprehensive curriculum that includes LGBTQ identities and discusses sexual consent. It removed language that relied on the gender binary considered stigmatizing and shaming.
The Sussex County supervisors’ resolution said the standards promote “age-inappropriate sexual content which usurps a parent’s ability to determine whether a child is emotionally and intellectually prepared for instruction in sex education.”
Sussex County Freeholder Director Sylvia Petillo thanked New Jersey State Senators Steve Oroho (R-24th Dist.) and Mike Testa (R-1st Dist.) for introducing their own resolution.
“It is extremely important that parental rights are respected and included in all sectors of education in our public schools,” Petillo said.
Supervisor Joshua Hertzberg agreed and said he has learned of more parents in the community gravitating toward private schools, to regain their right to teach their own children these lessons