New Jersey Board of Education Requires Gender Neutrality via New “Equity Code” Standards

August 08, 2023

The New Jersey State Board of Education recently approved an “equity code” which mandates the use of gender-neutral terms in schools. The code, which was originally adopted in 2003, has been amended to require elimination of gendered nouns and pronouns. The terms “female” and “male” will no longer be accepted in educational settings and will be replaced with the term “all.” Many concerned parent groups attended the meeting and urged board members to vote no. Now that it is approved, many parent advocates are threatening lawsuits to fight these radical requirements. 

The proposed amendments at NJAC are designed to eliminate gendered nouns and pronouns; utilize more inclusive language reflective of the protected categories or classes as defined pursuant to the NJLAD, streamline and clarify rules, procedures, and operations throughout the chapter, update terminology to align to provisions throughout Title 6A of the New Jersey Administrative Code, Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes, and practices regarding equity in education, while removing redundant language or sections with the chapter which are covered under other provisions and laws.

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