Making schools inclusive is all we ask

March 11


I have many Jewish friends. I have proudly and publicly defended them against anti-Semitism. I love them. I am concerned for their welfare. I am aware of the historical mistreatment and marginalization they have suffered.

In our friendship, we acknowledge our disagreement regarding the identity of Jesus – my Lord and Savior. Despite our different religious beliefs that strike at the core of who I am as an evangelical Christian, we live life together.

That is tolerance of beliefs. That is diversity of people. That is not public school.

Increasingly in society, and particularly in education, students are taught that different religions and cultures have different beliefs about the identity and definition of God. Furthermore, these religious differences should be celebrated as part of a diverse and inclusive environment. We are told that many beliefs about God are acceptable and welcomed in a self-proclaimed pluralistic society. To be clear, I believe Jesus Christ is the Son of God who died for our sins, rose again from the dead, and will return one day.

Yet, this same “diversity and inclusiveness” is not extended to religious and cultural beliefs about sex and sexuality. Students must quickly conform to the sexual views of government or face isolation, harassment, and intimidation. In my advocacy with legislators, I have often encouraged them to make schools inclusive for all students. If it is determined that sexual orientation and gender identity must be taught in higher grades despite parents’ objections – then let’s at least present sexuality in a truly diverse way so students can decide what they believe.

What would this look like? Something like: “Some people based on their religious, cultural, and family backgrounds believe gender is biological and binary – male and female determined at conception. The act of sex is reserved for two unrelated adults of the opposite sex in a lifetime covenant relationship (marriage). Other people believe gender is fluid and not fixed, and that it has been historically assigned at birth. This group of people usually believe that the act of sex is normal and healthy no matter the parties involved as long as there is mutual consent. Whatever your beliefs are, please respect and be kind to your classmates.”

Yet even a pragmatic and compromised approach like this is flatly rejected and dismissed. Why? The agenda is not about diversity. Do not let their words and messaging persuade you otherwise. Just a few days ago, famed Princeton professor, Robert George urged parents to flee New Jersey public schools because of the sexual indoctrination that happens there.

Our organization advocates for an unbiased, neutral public school system. That is all we ask for. I am hopeful one day New Jersey will achieve it. Until then, we will continue to stand for your children and serve your family.

Working for a better New Jersey!

Shawn Hyland
Executive Director