New Jersey School District Repeals Controversial Transgender Policy

A New Jersey school district made a decision to revisit its transgender student policy, emphasizing the need for clarity and unity within the district.

Last week, the board of education at Freehold Township Board of Education voted 6-3 to abolish the previous policy, which mandated the acceptance of a student’s asserted gender identity without requiring parental consent.

The policy had also stated that no threshold diagnosis or treatment was necessary for district officials and staff members to recognize a student’s gender identity.

While the decision to abolish the policy was met with mixed reactions, Freehold board president Michelle Lambert explained that each board member had their own reasons for voting as they did.

“I am not about abolishing this policy because I want to further a political agenda. I want to remove the ambiguity, I want to remove the divisiveness so that this school board can get back to educating our students, which is what we are here to do,” she said at the meeting.

Superintendent Neal Dickstein addressed the issue in a letter to families, pointing out that misinformation about the policy had been circulating.

Dickstein clarified that the decision to repeal the trans policy “does not translate to the forced outing of children as it is being interpreted by some.”

Freehold’s decision to revisit its transgender policy aligns with a broader trend across New Jersey, as several other districts in the state have recently revised or dropped their transgender student policies, leading to passionate debates during school board meetings.

Parents who oppose the repeal of the policy argue that it could potentially expose students who are questioning their gender identity to their families involuntarily. However, others argue that parents have the right to be informed if their child wishes to change their gender.

“Most of these kids don’t even have clinical or deep-seated dysphoria. Rather, it is born out of social contagion, online influence, and now our local schools, if not stopped,” a parent said.

The repeals come after Attorney General Matthew Platkin filed a civil rights complaint against multiple districts in Monmouth County to ban policies that require the schools to inform parents of their child’s decision to identify as transgender.