Mere days after three New Jersey public school systems all enacted policies requiring educators to notify parents of changes in their children’s gender identity, New Jersey State Attorney General Matthew Platkin announced legal complaints against them. These complaints were aimed at Middletown Township, Marlboro Township, and Manalapan-Englishtown Regional boards of education, all in Monmouth County.
Filed in a New Jersey Superior Court, the complaints from the state allege the policies are discriminatory. Specifically, they say that mandating staff to notify parents when students wish to change names, pronouns or bathroom accommodations “target transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender non-binary students by singling them out for differential treatment, requiring parental notification for those students but not their peers.”
“In New Jersey, we will not tolerate any action by schools that threatens the health and safety of our young people. Without question, the discriminatory policies passed by these Boards of Education, if allowed to go into effect, will harm our kids and pose severe risk to their safety,” said Attorney General Platkin in a statement.
In separate companion legal briefs, Platkin asked the court to halt the policy changes from taking effect until the litigation is sorted out.
Marc H. Zitomer, who represents the Marlboro Townhip Board of Education, told CNN he disagrees with the attorney general.
“We also have an exception in our policy if such notification would endanger the health or safety of the child,” Zitomer said
In May, state officials also filed a civil rights complaint after similar changes were enacted at the Hanover Township Board of Education. A Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order barring the enforcement of that policy.
The issues of trans rights and parental rights have become flashpoints in American politics as of late. In Monmouth County, there was plenty of support on both sides when the school boards voted.