Scharfenberger & Flynn: Governor Should Punish Criminals, Not School Districts That Don’t Want To Teach Sex Ed

September 27, 2022

NJ Education Report

Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger and Assemblywoman Victoria Flynn (Monmouth – R’s) are demanding that Governor Phil Murphy and the New Jersey Department of Education end the recent intimidation tactics forced on parents and school districts over the implementation of sex education curriculums and focus instead on the very real dangers threatening New Jersey communities across the State:

“The unmitigated gall that this administration has to threaten school districts with retaliation because they have reservations about sex curriculums while at the same time ignoring crime waves impacting neighborhoods, even the Governor’s own, is lunacy. The Governor should be focusing on combating real criminals instead of labeling parents as enemies of the state,” said Assemblyman Scharfenberger. “The fact that his administration is more concerned about children being taught over-sexualized, explicit materials than with changing bail reform or protecting residents and families speaks volumes. This void in priorities has very real-world implications on the residents of New Jersey.”

“I was appalled by the announcement by the Department of Education that it intends to pursue punishment against schools while it actively ignores the critical needs of NJ students following the pandemic,” Assemblywoman Flynn commented. “This is just another example of the State igniting the real issues impacting NJ residents. Even the car theft crime wave ravishing communities all over the State continues to be ignored by the Governor. We have drafted legislation in response to the pleas of law enforcement and our constituents to implement common sense solutions to curb rising crime, yet those requests have been egregiously ignored. While the Governor seeks to raise his national profile, he is ignoring the problems here at home by being soft on crime, even when that crime wave hits close to home (just next door to the Governor’s home).” 

The strong backlash comes as reports show that the New Jersey Department of Education has released harsh warnings to school districts that suggest any attempts to circumvent new sex education curriculums could be faced with serious repercussions and possible loss of funding. Making matters worse, New Jersey parents are also coming under the thumb of the NJDOE as they could also have their children penalized should they fail to adhere to strict excusal protocols:

“The fact that the NJDOE has the time and resources apparently available to make threats, but neglects to effectually create programs and proposals to deal with learning losses stemming from COVID-19 closures illustrates how ineffective and uninventive the department really is at focusing on the real needs of students right now. Every day at the NJDOE should be spent working toward helping students academically recover so that they have every tool needed to be successful; however, it appears that the NJDOE’s lesson plans are geared toward acting as a de facto enforcement agency for administration’s agenda items,” concluded Assemblywoman Flynn.

“We are not going to stand by while our schools and parents are pressured with strong-armed threats from any administration, especially one that would rather target law-abiding citizens instead of criminals. Let’s cut it with the soundbites for the Governor’s future D.C. ambitions and get to work solving the problems here before someone is injured or worse, loses their life,” Assemblyman Scharfenberger continued.