Newly adopted and enacted amendments to the New Jersey Educational Curriculum for the 2021-2022 school year with respect to instruction on diversity and inclusion that became law on March 1 through Assembly Bill 4454 have the approval of the Township of West Milford Council but with exception.
The local officials do not support discussion and materials relating to sexual orientation to introduced in lessons with very young children.
Members of the governing body said they have seen excerpts of the proposed curriculum and believe it is inappropriate for the age of children attending kindergarten.
They said they are concerned that the new law does not provide parents the right to consider opting out of sexual orientation discussions or instruction on behalf of their children.
They said, in opposing certain aspects of Assembly Bill 4454, that it does not provide for any other limitation or guidance with respect to sexual and gender discussion except that it must be implemented in the curriculum for students in all grades through 12.
The council approved Resolution 2021 – 163 to officially oppose certain aspects of Assembly Bill 4454 on April 21 during their regular meeting. The resolution said the council is concerned as to the extent of the materials and graphics that would be included as part of the instruction, discussion and curriculum materials for young children without parental notification and input.
A copy of the resolution was forwarded to the township’s legislative representatives.
During earlier workshop discussion Councilwoman Ada Erik expressed her concerns and said she hopes people become aware of the bill. Councilman Michael Chazukow agreed with Erik. He wanted the resolution to draw a distinction between encouraging tolerance and explicit instructions about teaching six-year olds-about sex. He expressed his opinion that the state is trying to have a say in the matter.