Don’t Tell Your Parents

December 12

New Jersey native comedian, Joe Piscopo, is the architect of the famed “What Exit?” New Jersey joke that premiered on Saturday Night Live in 1981. Joe’s self-deprecating humor about his beloved home state became a national hit. “What Exit” car magnets, bumper stickers and t-shirts are sold throughout our state and online for tourists and residents alike.

As I ministered at churches and spoke at parental right groups over the past few weeks, I have met with parents living in urban areas near the New York City border off Exit 155 of the Garden State Parkway to those living in suburban areas near Atlantic City off Exit 36. However, the scandalous stories they shared with me about public schools were no laughing matter. These parents want to know if they should exit the public education system entirely. The “what exit” gag is being replaced with the “when should I exit” crisis.

Tragically, there was a common factor in each unique story I heard. A mother shared how her daughter was instructed by her teacher, “Don’t tell your parents” about the book you are being assigned. I heard from a teacher aide who has been instructed by school administrators, to remain silent as the school allows a 1st grade boy to use the girls bathroom with other 7-year-old girls present without the permission or knowledge of any of the parents of the students involved.

Another teacher shared her frustration over her high school son being forced to attend a school rally that featured a lesbian and a transgender male sharing how wonderful and fulfilling their chosen lifestyles were. Students were encouraged to cheer and support this mandated school assembly celebrating the diversity of sexual preferences and identities. Disciplinary action awaited any students who refused to attend.

Recently, a mom shared her displeasure over the diversity week at her 11-year-old son’s middle school in an historic, upper-class NJ district. Students and faculty received a white t-shirt with the phrase “I am” printed on the front. The shirts were required to be worn the following day with a personal identity handwritten after “I am”. The vice principal greeted the students at the bus drop off area proudly displaying his preferred label “I am the G in LGBT.” The mother’s complaint to the superintendent was dismissed as he clearly indicated his full support of the vice principal’s pride shirt.

“Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12 For it is shameful even to speak
of the things that they do in secret. 13 But when anything is exposed by the light, it becomes visible,”
Ephesians 5:11-13

Remain confident as Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey® continues to serve the families of our state by advocating for our students and the rights of parents to educate their children according to their beliefs. I share these factual, local stories to challenge you to remain diligent in your engagement and prayerful in your support.

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Let’s make NJ better!

Shawn Hyland
Director of Advocacy


Len Deo
Director of Alliances Northeast Region, Family Policy Alliance
Founder & Past President, New Jersey Family Policy Council