More than three-quarters of New Jerseyans want schools to notify parents when their child expresses a change in gender identity, according to a new poll, a finding that comes as the state's liberal attorney general sues to stop the practice.
Seventy-seven percent of New Jersey adults think the state's middle and high schools "should be required to notify parents if their child wants to be identified as a different gender than what is on their school registration," according to a Monmouth University poll published Tuesday. The policy is not just popular among Republican voters—81 percent of independents and 61 percent of Democrats also support the requirement, the poll found.
Parental notification policies have become a hot-button issue in the Garden State after Attorney General Matt Platkin (D.) in May and June sued four school districts that passed measures requiring teachers to inform parents should their child exhibit a change in his or her gender identity. Parents would be informed, for example, if their child chooses to be called by a different name or seeks to use a different bathroom or locker room than the one that coincides with his or her biological sex. While Platkin and New Jersey Democratic governor Phil Murphy say those policies put "LGBTQ+ students" at risk, parents disagree, according to the poll.
Platkin's office declined to comment.
In addition to the parental notification findings, the Monmouth poll found that most New Jersey adults do not want schools to teach students about gender identity until high school. Seventy-five percent of residents said they disapprove of gender identity instruction in elementary school, while 53 percent disagree with such instruction in middle school.
Just weeks before the poll's release, Murphy in a national interview vehemently defended Platkin's lawsuits targeting parental notification policies. During a July 23 CBS News appearance, Murphy argued that schools that fail to notify parents when their child exhibits a change in gender identity are merely following "the American way."
"Listen, we took these actions because it's the right thing to do," Murphy said. "Let's protect the rights of these precious kids. Let's do things the right way, the American way."