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Jackson officials honor education with ‘moral values’

Jackson Township Council members discuss a controversial topic regarding the state’s mandatory sexual orientation curriculum in school districts during a recent council meeting. (Photo by Bob Vosseller)

JACKSON — Township officials marked Education Day with a proclamation at a recent council meeting that also featured a scathing critique of Gov. Phil Murphy’s school curriculum mandates.

The governing body’s proclamation for Education Day is issued annually and not only notes the importance of education for all “but also focuses on character building with an emphasis on the cultivation of universal moral and ethical values ​​that have been the foundation of society since the dawn of civilization,” Council Speaker Martin Flemming said as he read the proclamation drafted by Jackson Mayor Michael Reina.

“I urge that education be strengthened by the inclination of strong moral values,” Flemming said in the proclamation. Education Day has been recognized for more than 40 years as Education and Sharing Day in the United States, the proclamation adds.

Councilman Nino Borrelli said he recently read “New Jersey Public Schools will begin teaching about sexual orientation, transgenderism, transgender identity, and abortion this fall, starting in kindergarten, first and second graders. second year”.

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This is not true, according to the Ministry of Education. The new standards will not teach sexual orientation in elementary school, contrary to what many believe, department officials said. However, “all people should feel welcome and included, regardless of gender, gender expression, or sexual orientation” by the end of year five.

These standards were adopted two years ago and public comments were welcome at the time. The changes will come into effect in September. Each district of New Jersey will have the choice to implement them as it sees fit. They will not be required to follow the same program.

“It’s a very disturbing program. Governor Murphy and his attorneys in the state legislature who are mandatary and therefore age-inappropriate. It really is child abuse. Shame on you Governor. Your vested interest in pushing this radical agenda and public education bureaucracy,” the councilman said.

Councilor Borrelli added: “These matters should be left to parents and not to teachers, especially primary school teachers, and you wonder why parents are taking their children out of public schools and putting them in a private school and teaching them home and why people are leaving our state. en masse.

“This council will continue to advocate for Jackson’s parents and the protection of parental rights. I urge your state legislators and (educational) board members to do the same and I urge parents to voice their concerns in opposition at school board meetings to this very disturbing agenda and to call on the governor’s office at 609-292-6000 and flood Murphy’s phone consistent with your objections and the chairman of the Senate Education Committee at 732-695-3371,” Borrelli said.

Democrats said the program is being used to provide more inclusive education and Republicans are spreading misinformation about it.

Parents can always choose to withdraw their children from sex education – this fact has not changed since 1980.

Councilor Steven Chisholm echoed his council colleague’s comments about ‘this shameful agenda of what they’re trying to do to the kids and force this on them. I don’t want to get too far into the weeds with this, but it’s ironic that we just had a proclamation on education where we talk about universal moral and ethical values ​​and yet that’s what’s being forced on our children. It is shameful.”

Council Chairman Martin Flemming said: ‘I would like to congratulate Councilman Borrelli and Councilman Chisholm on their fire about the Governor’s decision to try to re-educate our children and I agree with them. With all my heart.

Governor Phil Murphy said on his weekly “Ask the Governor” radio show that there is confusion and misinformation regarding the mandate and that he recently asked the state Department of Education to release a statement clarifying what is involved.

Murphy stressed that parent input was essential to the process of adding the new curriculum and that he too had questions about how the material would be handled in younger grades.

The governor said he thought some people were criticizing him for political reasons. He also reminded residents that there was an option for parents who felt the material was not age-appropriate for their children to choose not to teach it to their children.

The 66-page standards in question are available here: state.nj.us/education/cccs/2020/2020%20NJSLS-CHPE.pdf

-Chris Lundy contributed to this story