Skip to content

Schools open new front in war with New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy over right to know kids are trans


Thanks for contacting us. We’ve received your submission.

School districts in New Jersey fighting for the right to tell parents their kids are trans are trying a new tactic — by voting to repeal the state’s ban on “outing” children.

Hanover Township, which includes the towns of Cedar Knolls and Whippany, voted unanimously Monday night to simply do away with a state policy that prevents schools from telling parents about their child transitioning.

As many as 20 districts are expected to follow suit, The Post has been told.

The move throws down a new gauntlet to Gov. Phil Murphy’s Democratic administration, which has gone to court to stop schools from telling parents about their children being trans.

The district’s tactic exploits an embarrassing disclosure made by the state’s deputy attorney general during a court case New Jersey has brought against Hanover Township and three other districts.

The deputy AG conceded that Hanover Township, Middletown, Manalapan-Englishtown and Marlboro districts had wrongly been told four years ago that the ban on telling parents about transitioning children was “mandatory” — when it was only “guidance.”

The four had been told that the state’s policy 5756, which says there is “no affirmative duty for any school district personnel to notify a student’s parent or guardian of the student’s gender identity or expression,” was “mandatory.”

This spring, all four districts voted to amend the policy so that parents would be told if their child starts to “socially” transition, by using different pronouns or first name, changing the gender of bathroom they use or changing the sports team they take play on.

Before that could take effect, the state government went to court to accuse the districts of forcibly outing trans children, increasing the risk of suicide, and asked a judge to issue an injunction.

But in the course of the hearing against Hanover Township, Deputy AG James Michael told Judge Stuart Minkowitz that policy 5756 was not, in fact, mandatory.

“It felt like a complete bombshell to us,” Middletown School Board vice president Jacqueline Tobacco told The Post.

But in the course of the hearing against Hanover Township, Deputy AG James Michael told Judge Stuart Minkowitz that policy 5756 was not, in fact, mandatory.

In Middletown, it was adopted by the previous board because it was labeled “mandatory” by a third-party provider, Strauss Esmay, which alerts districts to new statewide education policies, Tobacco said.

The state won an injunction after the hearing last month — but the admission that the policy was a suggestion, not a mandate, has opened a new legal path for the districts: to simply vote to repeal 5756, rather than amend it, allowing them to deal with trans children case-by-case.

Lafayette, a small K-8 district, repealed it in July to “no fanfare and no one [from the state] seems to care,” their school board president, Joshua Aikens, told The Post.

And according to Tobacco, others plan to follow suit. “On Saturday night, I spoke to 18 other districts around the state, and they plan to simply repeal 5756,” she said.

But since Middletown, Manalapan-Englishtown and Marlboro have been temporarily blocked from implementing their change to 5756, it’s unclear if they will be able to repeal it, or whether Hanover Township’s move will hold up in court.

“Because we are under an injunction, there is a big question as to how we’ll proceed,” said Tobacco.

Middletown schools started looking at changing their policy about a year ago, when the board was told that the schools were using the new names of children who had changed gender identity, but altering standardized tests when they were sent home to use their birth names.

Today's News.
For Conservatives.
Every Single Day.

News Opt-in
(Optional) By checking this box you are opting in to receive news notifications from News Rollup. Text HELP for help, STOP to end. Message & data rates may apply. Message frequency varies. Privacy Policy & Terms:
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.