Parents Alarmed as New Jersey Moves to Require Second-Grade Students to Learn About Gender Identity

This fall, New Jersey public school second graders will be getting gender identity lessons under state sex education guidelines which take effect in September.

A sample of the lesson plans reads, “You might feel like you’re a boy even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘girl’ parts.’

New Jersey second-grade standards include discussing “the range of ways people express their gender and how gender role stereotypes may limit behavior” and “performance expectations.”

Garden State educators are preparing to carry out the new teaching standards established in 2020, but which do not take effect until September 2022.

One New Jersey school district distributed samples of lesson plans showing first-graders could be taught they could “feel like” a girl but have “boy parts.”

At the Westfield Board of Education’s February 22 meeting, lesson plans were given out to parents that reflect the new, broader sex education curriculum.

Gender lesson plans

In one N.J. lesson plan, titled “Purple, Pink and Blue,” teachers are told to teach the students be able to define “gender, gender identity, and gender role stereotypes” as part of its first-grade curriculum objective.

Students should also be able to name “at least two things they’ve been taught about gender role stereotypes and how those things may limit people of all genders” as part of its second objective.

“Gender identity is that feeling of knowing your gender. You might feel like you are a boy, you might feel like you are a girl,” states the lesson plan.

“You might feel like you’re a boy even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘girl’ parts. You might feel like you’re a girl even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are ‘boy’ parts.” 

The lesson plan continues, “And you might not feel like you’re a boy or a girl, but you’re a little bit of both. No matter how you feel, you’re perfectly normal!”

In a different lesson plan for second-grade students called “Understanding Our Bodies,” teachers are instructed to teach children that “there are some body parts that mostly just girls have and some body parts that mostly just girls have and some parts that mostly just boys have.”

The lesson plan continues, “Being a boy or a girl doesn’t have to mean you have those parts, but for most people, this is how their bodies are. Most people have a vulva and a vagina or a penis and testicles, but some people’s bodies can be different. Your body is exactly what is right for you.”

Additionally, the second-grade lesson includes teaching children to be able to “identify at least four body parts: form male and female genitalia, as well as for students to describe “why it is important for them to know the correct names for the genitals.”

Republicans claim the state’s lesson plans show that Democratic Governor Phil Murphy’s administration has misplaced educational priorities. “It’s simple. Gov. Murphy thinks he knows better how to parent your children than you do,” according to New Jersey GOP’s communications director, Alexandra Wilkes.

“The shocking, graphic materials taught to children barely old enough to read and write fly in the face of the Democrats’ insistence on the campaign trail last fall that critics of these new standards were exaggerating or even bigoted for raising concerns in the first place,” said Wilkes. 

Wilkes continued, “Democrats lied to parents, belittled and shamed them for wanting a say in the children’s education, and they’re about to find out this November what happens you mess with other people’s kids.”