It’s been languishing in committee since May 2022, but recent events have Republicans demanding a second look at their “parental bill of rights” legislation.
One of the co-sponsors of the bill (A3800) is freshman Assemblyman Alex Sauickie who represents one of the three New Jersey school districts (Marlboro, Middletown, and Manalapan-Englishtown Regional) which the Murphy Administration is suing to defeat pro-parental notification policies. On Friday, Monmouth County Superior Court Judge David F. Bauman granted a preliminary injunction requested by the Attorney General’s Office. “Earlier this year, I testified before the Assembly Budget Committee to paint a clearer picture of the fiscal cliff our schools are facing and fight for a full restoration of funding, but unfortunately the Murphy administration chose instead to pick an unnecessary fight with schools and parents, and waste taxpayer money,” said Sauickie. “Parents aren’t the enemy.” “These schools created the policies following public input and are now being punished for their transparency,” added Sauickie. “After suffering millions in state aid cuts under Governor Murphy, schools shouldn’t have to pay to defend a parent’s right to be involved in their child’s education. This is why my Republican colleagues and I in the Assembly sponsor the Parents’ Bill of Rights. There is no better children’s advocate than parents and no bigger threat than this administration.” A3800 would address the current conflict by barring schools from inhibiting parental rights and hiding information from parents; there would also be an explicit right “to access, as permitted by law, all records generated by the public school or school district that concern the student” which presumably would cover documents generated pertaining to “gender identity.”
A new Monmouth Poll finds Garden State residents overwhelmingly opposed to the Murphy Administration policy.
It’s also a question of priorities. As Sauickie points out, New Jersey students are months behind in math and reading following the pandemic and, according to the Assembly GOP office, “Middletown and Manalapan-Englishtown Regional school district students are more than four months behind in math and nearly two months in reading.”“Considering that test scores show New Jersey students lost months of reading and math instruction due to government school shutdowns, the focus should be on funding and supporting schools by addressing this unprecedented challenge,” Sauickie added. “There is no problem with the schools’ policies on parental notification. The problem is that Governor Murphy is trying to come between parents and children over a fabricated culture war that only exists to raise his national profile and deflect from his failures in educating our children.”