What’s happening: The past four years have seen a dramatic 4,000 percent increase in the number of students identifying as "non-binary" in New Jersey public schools. In the 2019-20 academic year, only 16 students identified as "non-binary," according to the New Jersey Department of Education's enrollment data. However, this figure dramatically increased to 675 students by the 2022-23 school year, including 41 elementary school children.
Context: In 2020, guidelines were established for New Jersey public schools to introduce gender identity and transgender topics to second graders. This curriculum was implemented in the fall of 2022. The state has also made efforts to prevent conservative parents from removing books from school libraries that explicitly discuss transgenderism and homosexuality.
Deeper: New Jersey's school districts led efforts to conceal students' gender identities from their parents, with the state's progressive leaders advocating to maintain this practice. At least 1,000 public school districts in the U.S., encompassing over 17,600 schools, have adopted policies directing teachers and staff not to inform parents if their children start identifying as a different gender.
Not just New Jersey: Over the span of two years, Montgomery County, Maryland's largest and wealthiest public school district, experienced a 582 percent increase in the number of students identifying as gender nonconforming. The relevant school board recently made LGBT education mandatory for children starting in pre-K, leading to a lawsuit and protests by Muslims and Christians in the county.