As part of a social studies class, a New Jersey public middle school forced students to watch a video about a transgender man's hormone treatment—all without notifying parents.
The video, "Ten Years on Testosterone," details the transition of LGBT activist Aydian Dowling through hormone injections. Teachers and administrators at Pearl R. Miller Middle School in Kinnelon, N.J., did not notify parents about the lesson, which included slideshows with definitions of different gender ideologies, beforehand.
"You can build up the courage to stand up for yourself in a way that this is what you want to do with your life," Dowling says in the video after injecting testosterone.
Dowling later spoke at a school-wide assembly as part of the school's "Stories Of Adversity & Resilience Program," about which administrators notified parents ahead of time, giving them the option to opt out their children. Concerned parents flocked to a school board meeting last Thursday, where board members admitted parents should have similarly been informed about the hormone therapy video.
"I felt as if I was blindsided," Loren Malfitano, whose two sons were shown the video, told the Washington Free Beacon. "They're learning about this ideology of gender before they even have classes on the actual biologies of males and females."
The school superintendent did not respond to a request for comment.
The tension over sex education in New Jersey is one of many examples across the country where concerned parents battle public schools over radical gender and sexuality curricula. Florida received national attention in March after the state legislature passed a bill that bans lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity in K-3 classrooms.
New Jersey is set to enact updated health standards in September pushed by Democratic governor Phil Murphy that teach second-graders about genitalia, reproduction, and "gender expression." Fifth-graders will be required to define masturbation and differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity, and eighth-graders will have to define gender identity, gender expression, vaginal sex, oral sex, and anal sex. The governor-appointed New Jersey Board of Education adopted the standards in 2020.
Planned Parenthood praised the state's plan, which the group noted aligns with the updated National Sex Education Standards. These national standards, which were written by three advocacy groups that rake in tens of millions of dollars from the CDC and liberal donors, suggest that elementary students should be taught about hormone blockers.
The Center for Garden State Families, a nonprofit that aims to fight back against progressive gender curricula in schools, first spread the news of the hormone treatment video shown to middle schoolers. Josh Aikens, a father of 6- and 2-year-old sons, has pushed back against radical sex education standards as a school board member in nearby Lafayette, N.J., saying parents nationwide need to be involved in what their children are learning.
"I don't need them to learn about sex," Aikens told the Free Beacon in regard to his children. "The communities should determine what is taught in schools because they're paying the bills for it."