A dozen New Jersey schools will be adopting a gay and transgender-focused curriculum set to be implemented statewide in the fall.
Twelve pilot schoolswill be testing groundsfor lessons in history, economics, and grammar with lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender contributions.
The law mandates middle and high school students be taught about the contributions of the gay and transgender community throughout history but has left it up to local districts on how to most effectively teach that message.
The program has been met with mixed reviews.
“God knows if I had the opportunity to learn a little more about myself, the sky would have been the limit for me,” Reginald Bledsoe said, a gay man and Newark school board member. “It’s very important that all kids see themselves in what they are learning.”
Others believe the new plan amounts to an assault on religious liberty.
The Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey has gathered over 3,500 signatures supporting the belief that the state is “forcing sexual ideology” on children. The petition requests that parents be given the choice of opting their children out of the curriculum. As of now, that option is not in the state’s plans.
New Jersey is the second state to adopt such a law, joining California, which adopted a similar law in 2011.