Boston, Mass., Aug 25, 2023 / 14:36 pm (CNA).
A new poll released this week said that more than 8 in 10 New Jersey parents believe that middle schools and high schools should be required to notify parents if their child wants to be identified as a different gender.
The new poll comes on the heels of the state attorney general’s lawsuit against three school districts for passing policies requiring schools to do just that.
The attorney general’s office announced last week that a Superior Court order temporarily halted the three school districts — namely the Middletown Township, Marlboro Township, and Manalapan-Englishtown Regional Boards of Education — from enacting policies while the legal challenges are ongoing.
The poll also comes following national polls that indicate a rapidly rising number of young people identify as LGBTQ+.
A survey released by the CDC in April shows that in 2021 about 1 in 4 U.S. high school students claimed a LGBTQ+ identity. A 2022 Gallup poll shows that the percentage of Generation Z who identify as LGBT almost doubled from 2017 to 2021.
Released by Monmouth University on Aug. 22, the poll conducted earlier this month asked about several issues that have caught national attention, including the use of bathrooms of one’s opposite sex, playing on the opposite gender’s sports team, what makes someone a man or a woman, and, as aforementioned, parental notification.
The poll, which used a random sample of 814 New Jersey adults ages 18 and older, had a margin of error of +/- 5.4%.
When asked if “middle/high schools [should] notify parents if students want to be identified as a different gender from their school registration,” 77% of the state’s adults and 81% of New Jersey parents said that schools should be required to notify parents.
Broken down by political affiliation, 92% of Republicans, 81% of independents, and 61% of Democrats said schools should be required to notify parents.
If middle and high schools are not required to notify parents, the majority of parents (59%), adults (55%), Republicans (76%), and independents (58%) say that the schools should still notify the parents of the student.
Only a minority of Democrats (38%) said that schools should still notify parents if there is no requirement.
Bathrooms and sports
Respondents were also surveyed on two issues that have had many parents across the country up in arms in recent years: the use of certain bathrooms by students of the opposite sex and transgender participation on sports teams.
Most participants (60%) said that transgender-identifying students should use the bathroom of the gender they were assigned at birth. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said that students should be able to use the bathroom of the gender they identify as.
More than half of respondents said that they favored providing gender-inclusive bathrooms, while almost 40% opposed it.
In regards to sports, respondents were asked if transgender-identifying students should be allowed to play on the team of the gender of which they claim to be.
Twenty-seven percent said that a girl who identifies as a boy should be able to play on the boys’ team whereas almost 60% of respondents said that the girl should be required to play on the girl’s team.
Answering for the opposite scenario, 23% of respondents said that a boy who identifies as a girl should be allowed to play on the girl’s team. Sixty-four percent said that a biological boy should have to play on the boy’s team.
Respondents were surveyed on several other issues including if they approve the teaching of “the range of ways people express their gender” in high school, if transgender-identifying students should be able to attend sex education classes for the gender they identify as, and what constitutes a man or woman.
A little over half of adults surveyed said whether someone is a man or woman is determined by the sex they were “assigned at birth.”
Are schools doing enough?
Ultimately, when respondents were asked about how much New Jersey public schools are doing in regards to teaching about gender identity, 45% of respondents said “too much.”
Almost a quarter said the “right amount” and 16% said not enough. Seventeen percent didn’t know.
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