Blow to Parental Rights — Key Ruling on NJ Trans Policy in Schools
The fight over parental rights versus the rights of transgender students is far from over in New Jersey.
Gov. Phil Murphy's Attorney General continues to aggressively pursue legal action against school districts that have defied Murphy's guidance over how to address students that change gender identity in school.
A key ruling in the case of Hanover Township
At the urging of AG Matt Platkin, Superior Court Judge Stuart Minkowitz has now blocked a policy by the Hanover Township school district that would have required parents be notified of a variety of student behaviors, including issue of gender identity.
Sitting in Morris County, judge Minkowitz said the Hanover policy contained "undefined and vague terms" and could have an "adverse impact" on the well-being of transgender students, according to a report on NorthJersey.com.
The judge granted a temporary injunction blocking the Hanover policy from taking effect while a broader lawsuit against the policy continues.
In his ruling, Minkowitz said the state's lawsuit against Hanover Township was not over parental rights, but rather the violation of New Jersey's anti-discrimination laws.
Murphy's AG cheers judge's ruling on trans rights
Platkin released a statement saying he was "pleased" with the ruling and applauding the court for finding the Hanover policy "would result in irreparable harm to students."
The AG also insisted that his office is not seeking a "ban on parental notification."
Hanover Township Board of Education members were the first to try and change the state's guidance/policy on transgender students and target language on parental notification.
Platkin quickly sued Hanover and then three districts in Monmouth County that adopted similar policies.
All of the lawsuits are continuing.
NJ school districts still pushing back on trans policy
It was during a hearing on the Hanover case, however, when Deputy Attorney General James Michael finally admitted that the directives from the New Jersey Department of Education were "guidance" and not a mandate.
Some board of education officials described it as a "bombshell admission."
That prompted a number of New Jersey school districts to revisit what is known as Policy 5756, and vote to scrap it entirely.
Platkin has not taken legal action against those districts.
Legal experts say Platkin was able to sue districts that tried to amend Policy 5756, because that is not allowed under state law. Districts either have to adopt the entire policy, or not adopt it at all.
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Gallery Credit: Erin Vogt, Eric Scott