This is what Commissioner Director Thomas A. Arnone of Monmouth County is so concerned about.  Please take notice of the disclaimer from the State Education website at the bottom.

From the webpages of the NJ State Board of Education:


“AN ACT concerning diversity and inclusion instruction in school districts and supplementing chapter 35 of Title 18A of the New Jersey Statutes.

“BE IT ENACTED by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey: C.18A:35-4.36a “Curriculum to include instruction on diversity and inclusion.


          a. Beginning in the 2021-2022 school year, each school district shall incorporate instruction on diversity and inclusion in an appropriate place in the curriculum of students in grades kindergarten through 12 as part of the district’s implementation of the New Jersey Student Learning Standards.

          b. The instruction shall:

                   (1) highlight and promote diversity, including economic diversity, equity, inclusion, tolerance, and belonging in connection with gender and sexual orientation, race and ethnicity, disabilities, and religious tolerance;

                   (2) examine the impact that unconscious bias and economic disparities have at both an individual level and on society as a whole; and

                   (3) encourage safe, welcoming, and inclusive environments for all students regardless of race or ethnicity, sexual and gender identities, mental and physical disabilities, and religious beliefs.

          c. The Commissioner of Education shall provide school districts with sample learning activities and resources designed to promote diversity and inclusion.

“2. This act shall take effect immediately. Approved March 1, 2021

{Sample learning activities list:}

“•      Exploring Gender Stereotypes Through Role Plays

The lesson plan offers role play activities and essential questions that provide children a chance to use creative, dramatic expression to consider not only the roots of gender stereotypes, but also the consequences and strategies for counteracting them.

•        Family First Grade Unit

An inquiry driven unit that engages students in expanding their understandings of families and the idea that families can be both similar and different. Although much of family life may be shared—language, religion, culture and traditions—there are important differences across these elements. The compelling question “How can families be the same and different?” offers students opportunities to explore a range of family dimensions, such as structure, activities and traditions.

•        Holidays Kindergarten Unit

An inquiry driven unit that encourages kindergartners to expand their study of self and others by deepening their understanding of the role of traditions, holidays and symbols in establishing cultural identity and unity. The compelling question “What makes holidays special?” reflects an enduring conversation about how and why people engage in ritual and tradition.

•        Identity Kindergarten Unit

A kindergarten inquiry driven unit that leads students through an investigation of self by recognizing that all humans have both unique and similar characteristics. By investigating the compelling question “Is everyone unique?” students begin to see how they are similar to and different from their classmates.

•        What is Ableism?

The lesson plan enables students to share what they already know about physical disabilities, stereotypes regarding people with disabilities and issues of fairness and accessibility. In addition, students will start learning vocabulary for talking about ableism.”

{Note:  The website has the disclaimer below about the “sample learning activities.”} 

“The resources provided on this webpage are for informational purposes only. All resources must meet the New Jersey Department of Education’s (NJDOE) accessibility guidelines. Currently, the NJDOE aims to conform to Level AA of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.1). However, the NJDOE does not guarantee that linked external sites conform to Level AA of the WCAG 2.1. Neither the Department of Education nor its officers, employees or agents specifically endorse, recommend or favor these resources or the organizations that created them. Please note that the Department of Education has not reviewed or approved the materials related to the programs.” 

If the Commissioners do not approve of this law, or guidance, I suggest they apply to the State Board themselves, and not pull a Texas switch to galvanize parents with partial information to object to anything the Board does. 

All these people want is to get our children to be more civil, informed, and self-aware than their parents were at their age.  To remain in the past is to forego the future.  Education professionals are paid to do this.  Parents should not have to double-check every lesson plan or idea.  That rigorous a review would nullify all the criteria for educator credentials that all teachers and administrators have to go to college to get.  ‘A well-informed and educated citizenry is a necessary element to a true democracy.’  (Paraphrase of Thomas Jefferson.)


Diane M. Starkey

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