Murphy moves to purge sex curriculum opponents from N.J. school board

It was only a matter of time.

On Thursday, Governor Phil Murphy announced his decision to nominate three new members of the 13-member State Board of Education: Mary Bennett, Dr. Kwanghee Jung, and Dr. Claudine Keenan. Senate confirmation is the next step for the nominees who, if successful, will serve six-year terms.

“I am proud to announce my nominations to the State Board of Education today as I am confident that Mary, Kwanghee, and Claudine will be integral assets to New Jersey’s students,” said Governor Murphy. “Each of the nominees brings to the table unique insight that will be invaluable as we continue on our mission to maintain New Jersey’s place as the best state for public education in the nation. Not only do these nominees reflect the great diversity of our state, but their extensive experience and dedication to bettering the lives of students make them extremely qualified to serve on the Board.”

What Murphy’s release leaves out is that his nominations replace three existing members: Mary Elizabeth Gazi, Mary Beth Berry, and Andrew Mulvihill, three of the four votes against the recently-enacted and hugely controversial statewide sex ed standards.

The new standards include teaching children as young as seven about gender identity and sexually explicit facets of the human anatomy.

Naturally, Murphy’s closest political allies are offering strong praise for the new nominations.

“We are pleased that Governor Murphy has nominated three highly qualified public education advocates to serve on the NJSBOE,” said NJEA President Sean M. Spiller. “They bring a wealth and diversity of experience that will benefit New Jersey’s students and their families. We look forward to working with each of them, and the rest of the NJSBOE, to address the challenges facing our public schools and to ensure that they remain the very best in the nation.”

Murphy’s move decreases the ideological diversity of the state board responsible for momentous education-related decisions impacting our state’s 2,500 public schools serving approximately 1.4 million K-12 students.

Matt Rooney
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MATT ROONEY is's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.