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New transgender student policy in Monmouth County awaits judge's decision

A judge will decide whether an injunction halting any new transgender policies for the Middletown, Marlboro and Manalapan-Englishtown school districts will remain.

Jim Murdoch and Lanette Espy

Aug 16, 2023, 10:59 AM

Updated 306 days ago

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It remains unknown whether three Monmouth County school districts will be able to proceed with a new transgender student policy under which teachers will notify parents, in most situations, if a student comes out as transgender.
A judge will decide whether an injunction halting any new transgender policies for Middletown, Marlboro, and Manalapan-Englishtown school districts will remain.
Large crowds and protesters attended board meetings in the spring as these policy changes were put in place.
Attorney General Matthew Platkin quickly filed suit after policy changes in the districts passed, saying those policies violate state discrimination laws and put transgender students at risk.
A spokesperson for Platkin says this is about protecting the civil rights of what he says are the most vulnerable students.
Meanwhile, the acting superintendent feels there should not be blanket policy. For example, she says a 5-year-old wishing to change gender versus someone of middle or high school age would certainly need to involve parents in the discussion.
Middletown School District Attorney Bruce Padula says this case has a high likelihood of setting a precedent for New Jersey.
"The state's position is actually compelling us to violate some of those other laws being the parents' fundamental 14th Amendment right that the judge really asked a lot of questions about yesterday," Padula said. "I could see this case going to the New Jersey Supreme Court setting precedent and maybe depending on the basis of the ruling it could go to the U.S. Supreme Court."
Attorneys for both sides were inside a courtroom together for the first time on Tuesday. The hearing allowed Judge David Bauman to question the attorneys. Bauman said he would issue his ruling shortly.
News 12 heard a decision could come as soon as the end of this week as the countdown to the first day of school in Middletown continues, starting Tuesday, Sept. 5.


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