The coronavirus disrupted routine legislative activity in Trenton over the past three months. Though many virus restrictions have now been lifted, the statehouse continues to prohibit visitors and public testimony. The legislature convenes committee hearings on pending bills through Zoom meeting technology. Yet, one thing that has not changed in the policy making process in NJ is the familiar assault on parental rights, particularly in the realm of education and health.
Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey believes parents are the primary educators and caregivers of their children. Though the state has an interest in protecting and tracking the health of students, their recent attempt to approve Assembly Bill 970 out of the Health Committee was troubling.
A970 mandates mental health screenings of all NJ public school students in seventh through twelfth grade without the consent or notification of the student’s parents at all prior to the screening and in only limited circumstances after the screening. A failure to notify and seek the approval of parents for any physical or mental health screening of their child violates parental rights and violates current state education law (N.J. Stat. 18A:36-34). We must not allow state officials to supersede the rights of parents in making decisions regarding the health care of their children.
I contacted the primary sponsor of this bill, Assemblyman Conoway (D), to share our concerns about the absence of parental consent in the proposed law. In response to the concerns of parents across the state new language was proposed that required the school district to obtain a written consent from the parent or guardian at the beginning of the school year prior to any mental health screening. We applaud this improved language. However, during my public testimony, I reminded the legislature that parental rights should not be an afterthought in drafting legislation. Parental rights are constitutionally protected rights! But many of our own state representatives and school staff seemed to have forgotten this.
I was stunned during public testimony when multiple advocacy groups representing principals, administrators, and counselors publicly opposed the addition of language requiring that parents be notified before mental health screenings. These groups insisted that requiring parents to give consent would somehow alter the student’s answers. These education lobbyists advocated for removing you from your child’s healthcare. This is unacceptable.
Family Policy Alliance of New Jersey stood strong and will continue to stand for families and your parental rights. We will not rest until parents regain their God-given rights and responsibilities to raise their children. Would you consider a gift this week to support our efforts in defending the family?
Let’s make NJ better,
Director of Advocacy
Because of COVID-19, everyone is homeschooling. Bringing school closer to home may be a good thing, considering what many kids are learning in schools.
Ian Rowe, who is the CEO of the Public Prep charter school network in New York, tells of moving their headquarters to the South Bronx, an area that is impoverished both economically and educationally. While scouting out the area, they noticed a blue Winnebago truck that was a welcome fixture in the neighborhood.
On the truck, in graffiti, was “Who’s Your Daddy?” The truck turned out to be a mobile DNA testing center charging $350-$500 to answer questions such as: “Is she my sister?” or “Are you my father?” Demand was so high that a second truck was added. The owner said, “For years, many were carrying around a huge burden. They live daily without the assurances most people take for granted, such as: Who is my mother? Who is my brother? Am I really who I think I am?”
Rowe’s research showed that the severe educational disparities between this district and others were not due to geography, economics, and race, but were related more to family structure. In its 2010 report, “Family Structure and Children’s Health in the United States,” the National Center for Health Statistics reported that children showing the most consistently positive health outcomes were raised in nuclear families, “with two married parents, who are each biological or adoptive parents to all children in the family.”
The well-known challenges effecting children in single-parent homes makes me wonder why schools seem to be so bent on promoting Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE), which in reality teaches and encourages students to have sex. CSE perpetuates the cycle that brings about consistently negative outcomes. I believe we can raise the bar for better outcomes.
I recently spoke with Maryann Mosac, president of a wonderful organization called ASCEND. ASCEND promotes SRA curriculum or Sexual Risk Avoidance, another name for abstinence. What she said thoroughly surprised me, but she had the facts to back her up: “Teens say they feel pressured to have sex in most sex-ed programs.”
- 40 percent of 18- and 19-year-olds say their contraceptive-focused sex-ed classes make sex seem like an expectation.
- More than 1 in 5 teens say classroom condom demonstrations make them feel sex is expected. Check out the stats for yourself.
By law, abstinence is the preferred curriculum in Rhode Island, yet that is not followed in many school districts. When schools re-open, FPA will be working with conservative family-oriented legislators (yes, they do exist) to ensure better outcomes for children. Making Rhode Island a state where God is Honored, Religious Freedom Flourishes, Families Thrive and Life is Cherished begins in the family!
Chairman, Board of Advisors – Rhode Island
I love this quote: “Common sense is like deodorant. People who need it most never use it!” Another that makes me chuckle is: “Common sense is not a gift; it’s a punishment – because you have to deal with everyone who doesn’t have it.”
It’s true, some days watching the news can seem like a punishment because there is little that reflects common sense. But recently the Brazilian government exercised some common sense that we here in the U.S. could learn from.
According to the New York Times, Brazil’s government has a message for adolescents as that nation struggles with high teen pregnancy rates and rising H.I.V. infections. That message is: Save Sex for Marriage!
Wow! I haven’t heard a public figure say that in a long time. But that is what Damares Alves, Brazil’s minister of human rights, is encouraging as she promotes abstinence. She says Brazilian youth are having sex because of social pressure, and she is working closely with a campaign called I Chose to Wait. Now that’s common sense!
Schools here in the U.S. should take a lesson from her playbook. Parents can no longer assume that schools will act in their best interest when it comes to moral values. Schools often bypass parents and cater to Planned Parenthood and LGBT activists when it comes to sex education. And that validates this quote: “It is a thousand times better to have common sense without education than to have an education with no common sense.”
Another area to watch is transgender sports. This could be one of the most blatant violations of common sense. Watch this clip to get a feel for how this lack of common sense is frustrating and discouraging for our young athletes in schools all across America.
Did you know that every Democratic 2020 frontrunner supports legislation that would freely allow male athletes into girls’ sports? They will do this by passing the so-called Equality Act. Don’t let the name fool you. There is nothing “equal” about it and certainly no common sense. It would amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to make “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” protected under federal anti-discrimination laws.
Thankfully, there are legislators who don’t want this to happen here and Family Policy Alliance of Wyoming® is helping support them.
Our youth are a priceless gift, and we want to pass on to them a Wyoming where God is honored, religious freedom flourishes, families thrive and life is cherished.
Your prayer and financial support will help us do just that.
Director of Advocacy
What if the government ran a chain of “cafeterias” for children?
What would they serve? How would they treat your family? How far would they go to protect the monopoly?
In his Stoplight® commentary, Stuart Shepard explores that analogy in light of recent happenings on Capitol Hill.
Thank you for sharing Stoplight with your friends.
Fifty-one families signed on to a lawsuit seeking to change a dangerous restroom policy enacted by a Chicago-area public school. It allows students to use the restroom of the gender which with they say they “identify.” It would give boys access to girls restrooms, locker rooms and showers.
Township District 211 instituted the policy after the U.S. Department of Education threatened to pull federal funding from the school. The DOE claims the school is in violation of Title IX.
“No government agency can unilaterally redefine the meaning of a federal law to serve its own political ends,” said Alliance Defending Freedom Legal Counsel Matt Sharp. “The Department of Education is exceeding what it is legally and constitutionally allowed to do. In fact, at least five other federal and state courts have rejected the DOE’s interpretation of Title IX.”
The lawsuit asks that the policy be overturned and any agreements with the Department of Education deemed illegal. Attorneys with the Thomas More Society are serving as local counsel on the case.
“It’s a massive step backwards to force women to give up their inherent right to bodily privacy,” said Thomas More Society attorney Jocelyn Floyd. “To impose such a rule on still-developing teenage girls, as they’re already struggling with puberty’s changes on their bodies and social pressures to look a certain way, undermines their dignity and tells them that their rights don’t matter. This isn’t a message our schools should be sending to our girls.”