During the 2019 to 2020 school year, a mere 16 students identified as non-binary. This figure has increased to 675 for the 2022 to 2023 academic year. This represents a more than 4,118 percent increase. Of those 675 students, 41 are elementary schoolchildren. (Related: School district in Maryland reports almost 600% increase in students who identify as NON-BINARY.)
The explosion in self-identified "non-binary" children in New Jersey public schools comes as the state's liberal leaders argue in favor of not informing parents if their children express desires to identify as different genders or sexual identities.
When the school board of Hanover Township decided to pass a policy to better inform parents about anything that could have "a material impact on a student's physical and/or mental health," New Jersey's Democratic attorney general, Matthew Platkin, sued the district for allegedly discriminating against LGBTQIA+ students for requiring teachers to "out" students "to their parents without their consent." The state's Democratic governor, Phil Murphy, endorsed this lawsuit.
"Hanover Township Board of Education's new policy requiring staff to 'out' LGBTQ students to their parents violates the rights of our students – jeopardizing their well-being and mental health," claimed Murphy.
New Jersey also isn't alone in experiencing this sudden significant surge in students self-identifying as non-binary or otherwise "gender nonconforming." Maryland's largest public school district, Montgomery County Schools (MCP), recently reported a 582 percent increase in students self-identifying as gender nonconforming in just two years – from 35 in 2019 to 239 in 2021, with 18 of those being in elementary, 92 being in high school and the majority in middle school.
While this rise in non-binary student enrollment has been observed in other states as well, New Jersey has become a focal point of the debate due to the response of leftist politicians advocating withholding information about a child's gender identity or sexual orientation for parents, especially when it deviates from societal norms.
Erika Sanzi, who works at Parents Defending Education, a nonprofit organization focused on parental rights, stated that the rise in non-binary students is not surprising, as she associates this surge with new liberal school policies and curricula that put a greater emphasis on teaching children gender ideology.
"These numbers aren't surprising to anyone who has been following the massive social contagion of adopting different gender identities," said Sanzi, who added that this increase is becoming more prevalent especially among adolescent girls.
Nicole Stouffer, a parent from New Jersey and a biostatistician who founded the parent advocacy group NJ Fresh Faced Schools, stated that the increase in self-identified "non-binary" students holds statistical significance and is medically relevant. Stouffer expects this count to continue to rise in the upcoming 2023-2024 school year as non-binary gender is increasingly normalized in schools.
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