New sex education standards become a target in NJ

Last year, Scott Shields hired a painter for his house who was a transgender man. When his two children unknowingly confused the painter’s gender, Shields pulled them aside to explain the pronouns.

Her children, who are in kindergarten and third grade, had already been introduced to different genres, so they grasped the concept easily, she said.

“Once I corrected them, they got it. Children understand these things, and it seems to me that the sooner they understand these concepts, the easier it is for them to process them later on,” she said. “I don’t think they know about hormones or reassignment surgery because that’s not for their age.”

Shields is a parent who supports New Jersey’s updated sex education standards, which will be implemented in schools in the fall and currently the target of conservative parents and Republican lawmakers. One called them “Trenton’s assault on parental rights.”

For second graders, the new standards mean teachers discuss gender role stereotypes and how people can express how they feel. By the end of fifth grade, students should be able to differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity.

And by eighth grade, teachers should be developing a plan to promote dignity and respect for all gender expressions, and students should know the difference between genders, gender identity, and sexual orientation. In grade 12, students will learn about birth control options, STDs, and consent.

Spread the love

What do you think?