Second-grade students in New Jersey public schools will receive lessons in gender identity and climate change beginning this fall.
In June 2020, New Jersey's Board of Education approved student learning standards for "Comprehensive Health and Physical Education" with an 8-4 vote. The curriculum is set to go into effect by September of this year.
The upcoming standards instruct teachers to "describe gender-role stereotypes and their potential impact on self and others" and "differentiate between sexual orientation and gender identity."
"Analyze the influences of peers, family, media, social norms and culture on the expression of gender, sexual orientation, and identity," the public school guidance states. "Advocate for school and community policies and programs that promote dignity and respect for people of all genders, gender expressions, gender identities, and sexual orientations."
"Analyze current social issues affecting perceptions of sexuality, culture, ethnicity, disability status and make recommendations to address those issues," the teachers are advised.
The new standards also teach children about abortion.
A description of what students should learn by the eighth grade states: "Describe pregnancy testing, the signs of pregnancy, and pregnancy options, including parenting, abortion, and adoption."
By the end of the second grade, the standards state that children are expected to "list medically accurate names for body parts, including the genitals." Children will also be taught about reproduction.
Second-graders are to be taught "the range of ways people express their gender and how gender-role stereotypes may limit behavior."
Second-grade teachers will also instruct children on "how climate change affects the health of individuals, plants and animals."
In the town of Westfield, parents voiced their concerns about possible sexual lesson plans for young children during a board of education meeting on Feb. 22. New Jersey state Sen. Holly Schepisi (R-39) was sent the potential lesson plans that were deemed controversial by concerned parents. Schepisi shared the lesson plans online.
One lesson plan for children in the first grade is titled "Pink, Blue and Purple."
The guidance expects first-graders to "define gender, gender identity and gender role stereotypes." Children are also instructed to be able to "name at least two things they’ve been taught about gender role stereotypes, and how those things may limit people of all genders."
One prospective course for first-graders instructs teachers to write the words "gender" and "gender identity" on the chalkboard, then tell students that a friend recently had a baby and they want to send a congratulatory card. The teacher is told to ask children if a pink card or blue card should be sent depending on the gender of the baby, then ask why they picked the colors.
"Gender identity is that feeling of knowing your gender," the lesson plan for first-graders reads. "You might feel like you are a boy, you might feel like you are a girl. You might feel like you're a boy even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are 'girl' parts. You might feel like you're a girl even if you have body parts that some people might tell you are 'boy' parts. And you might not feel like you're a boy or a girl, but you're a little bit of both. No matter how you feel, you're perfectly normal!"
In a lesson plan for second-grade teachers titled "Understanding Our Bodies," teachers are instructed: "This lesson does, however, acknowledge that 'there are some body parts that mostly just girls have and some parts that mostly just boys have. Being a boy or a girl doesn't have to mean you have those parts, but for most people this is how their bodies are.' And, 'Most people have a vulva and a vagina or a penis and testicles but some people’s bodies can be different. Your body is exactly what is right for you.'"
The instruction guide asks second-graders to correctly identify at least four body parts of the female and male genitals.
The lesson plan for second-graders features a slide show that states, "So a person with a vulva has three holes between their legs and a very sensitive little area at the top called the clitoris." The slide show also notes that "most boys have a penis and scrotum between their legs."
The lesson plan calls for an image of a female body to be shown to the class, and six students should stick post-it note labels on the corresponding body parts, including clitoris, urethra, vulva, vagina, anus, and nipples.
"Most people have a vulva and a vagina or a penis and testicles but some people's bodies can be different," the lesson for children reads.
Schepisi told Fox News that as "a mom and a legislator, I can appreciate the need for students to receive age-appropriate instruction, but this is beyond the pale."
"We knew that when Gov. Murphy used the cover of the pandemic to push these new standards through that something was terribly wrong, and now we can clearly see why they needed to do this in secret," Schepisi added. "The agenda has swung so far left in an attempt to sexualize our precious children that parents are fighting back."
Schepisi said that "Democrats should expect a reckoning this fall" for pushing gender lessons on young children that some parents abhor.
New Jersey Republican state Sen. Michael Testa declared, "We fought for kids to return to school in person. Then we had to fight to take off our kids' masks. Now, we have to watch our elementary school children, who have already fallen behind thanks to the Murphy lockdowns, learn about genitalia and gender identity? It's abuse, plain and simple."
A spokesperson for Westfield Public Schools told Fox News that the exact lesson plans were not in the school district's plans, but were a "sample list of resources" that aligned with New Jersey's upcoming standards that are "to be considered."
"During a presentation at the Feb. 22 Board of Education meeting, we provided an update on the district’s work to revise the Comprehensive Health and Physical Education curriculum," Superintendent Dr. Raymond González told Fox News. "The presentation included a sample list of resources aligned to the New Jersey Student Learning Standards to be considered as school districts work on revisions to the health and PE curriculum."