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LGBTQ Nation: Multiple New Jersey school districts approve measures to out trans & nonbinary students to parents


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This week, three New Jersey school districts approved measures that will force school officials to out transgender and nonbinary students to their parents.

School boards in Middletown, Marlboro, and Manalapan-Englishtown, New Jersey, all adopted similar parent notification policies on Tuesday, according to NJ.com.


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At the Middletown School Board meeting, dozens of students, parents, and allies showed up to oppose a change to a district policy that previously required schools to accept a student’s gender identity. The amendment passed in an 8-to-1 vote and requires schools to notify parents if students want to change their name or pronouns. Schools must also notify parents whose children inquire about participating on sports teams or use restrooms that do not align with the sex they were assigned at birth.

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Outside Middletown High School North library, where the meeting was held, dozens of people reportedly held signs opposing the change and chanted “protect trans kids.”

Inside the meeting, ahead of the Tuesday vote, one transgender student told board members that they were “disgusted” that trans students’ rights and privacy were being endangered. “You guys clearly don’t understand the amount of harm you are putting young trans kids in with this policy,” they said.

“By outing students to their families, you are doing a huge disservice to their mental and physical well-being,” another student said. “This may subject them to physical or emotional abuse from unsupportive parents. Being stripped away of the choice of when to come out is traumatizing in and of itself.”

Elizabeth Ehret, a civil rights lawyer, told the board that the policy was “unconstitutional and unequivocally illegal.”

As NJ.com notes, the New Jersey Department of Education’s Transgender Student Guidance requires schools to ensure a safe and supportive environment for transgender students under state and federal law.

“If you passed this, the district will be sued, and you will be putting students in harm’s way,” Ehret said.

After the amendment passed, parent Michele Collins blasted the board. “Each of you are aware that LGBTQIA+ youth are at the highest risk of suicide,” she said. “You will have blood on your hands should a trans student takes their life because of this.”

A spokesperson for New Jersey’s Office of the Attorney General and the Division on Civil Rights said the office is reviewing the new policies in Middletown, Marlboro, and Manalapan-Englishtown. “The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination flatly prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity or expression, and we are firmly committed to taking swift action in response to any policy that violates that prohibition.”

Editor’s note: This article mentions suicide. If you need to talk to someone now, call the Trans Lifeline at 1-877-565-8860. It’s staffed by trans people, for trans people. The Trevor Project provides a safe, judgement-free place to talk for LGBTQ youth at 1-866-488-7386. You can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

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