New Jersey schools are now obligated to teach students of middle-school age about controversial sex-education topics, including pregnancy options and anal sex.
In June 2020, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the normal pacing and flow of academic years, the New Jersey Department of Education approved a curriculum that focuses on various levels of sex education.
The state Department of Education's 2020 mandates are being implemented this month. The districts of schools that don't participate in the initiative could face "disciplinary action" or even a loss of funding.
According to the guidelines, eigth-grade students should become exposed to matters such as "pregnancy testing, and the signs of pregnancy and pregnancy options, including parenting, abortion and adoption."
The guidelines also maintain eighth graders should "develop a plan to eliminate or reduce risk of unintended pregnancy and [sexually transmitted infections] (including HIV)."
And finally, the eighth-grade students should have an understanding of "vaginal, oral and anal sex."
Here's a basic rundown of the sex-ed requirements for New Jersey schools, according to the Sex Education Collaborative:
- The curriculum is not required to be comprehensive.
- The curriculum must stress abstinence.
- The curriculum must be medically accurate.
- Curriculum must include instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity.
- Curriculum must include instruction on consent.
- New Jersey must permit parents or guardians to remove their children from any part of the health, family life or sex-education classes — "if it conflicts with their beliefs." It's commonly referred to as an "opt-out" policy.
Melissa Varley, superintendent of the Berkeley Heights School District, recently told Fox News Digital that New Jersey state law supersedes the district's own preferences, regarding curriculum measures.
The district "presented the new PE/health curriculum [Aug. 11] at the public board meeting. The assistant superintendent and PE/health supervisor explained in detail the opt-out process available to all parents".
"In addition, all parents are welcome to personally review the curriculum guides and teaching materials," added Varley.
"If we do not, we do not pass New Jersey Quality Single Accountability Continuum (NJQSAC) monitoring. If the district fails this process, we may become ineligible for state and even federal funding."
One anonymous mother of Berkeley Heights district students characterized the state Education Department's standards as "harmful and offensive."
She also said the district's website hasn't specifically outlined just how much attention will be given to potentially graphic topics, such as anal sex.
"All I'm asking for is transparency and accountability," the mom told Fox News Digital.
"I had to send quite a few emails and figure out who is in charge and teaching what to get to this point," she said, adding it's "a lot of work for most parents."
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