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NJ Pro-Family Group Works with Lawmakers to Introduce New Bill Giving Parents Power Over School Teaching Materials

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Christian and Muslim parents presented a united front when they stood together before the Jersey City Board of Education last week to challenge the state-mandated LGBT curriculum being taught in all New Jersey schools. 

The Jersey Journal reports more than 60 Coptic Christian and Muslim parents believe the new curriculum violates their First Amendment rights.

Last year, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed a law requiring all New Jersey schools to teach the history of LGBT people to middle school and high school students starting this fall.

Rev. Thomas Nashed of the St. George and St. Shenouda Church told the Jersey Journal the curriculum's critics think it's propaganda to persuade children to accept LGBT behavior. 

"We respect, love and tolerate everyone the same, as we are all the creation of God," said Nashed, who is also a parent. "The schools have a duty to educate the children, not to sexualize them and force our kids to have sexual education by labeling everything to a sexual orientation, therefore stripping away their innocence."

"Let's be clear it is the parent's right and only the parent's right to teach their own children such matters," he said.

Jersey City school board members reminded the parents the curriculum is mandated by the state. The curriculum was written by Garden State Equality, a statewide LGBT advocacy group, which said LGBT history is American history. 

But Victoria Jakelsky, state director of a grassroots group called Protect Your Children, or Team PYC, told The Daily Signal the group is working to advance a "radical agenda" that "undermines the constitutional rights of parents."

Shawn Hyland, the director of advocacy for the New Jersey Family Policy Alliance agrees with Jakelsky.

"This curriculum wants our children to rethink their biblical beliefs and retrain them to speak differently about human sexuality," Hyland wrote in an email to CBN News. "Specifically, there are lessons in the Garden State Equality material that instructs middle school students in grammar class to use transgender pronouns, instead of correct binary English pronouns. In a sense, encouraging impressionable students to disregard elementary grade grammar to embrace the sexual revolution in their teen years. Let us not forget the infamous Saul Alinsky in his book Rules for Radicals, 'If you control the language, you control the masses.'"

New Jersey is the second state to pass a law requiring LGBT curriculum after California. 

Other parents across New Jersey have spoken out about the new law. They are concerned the new law will "teach lifestyles and life choices that stand 100% against our family values." according to The Daily Signal.

Hyland told CBN News his group "has worked alongside pro-family legislators to introduce the Protecting Parental Involvement in Curriculum Act. This law will empower parents to withdraw their child from any curriculum or material that violates or conflicts with their religious or moral views regarding sex, human sexuality, and gender identity. Neary 10,000 names have signed a petition in support of this bill." 

CBN News asked Hyland what New Jersey parents can do in the meantime. 

"Parents must communicate their concerns at the local and state level," Hyland wrote. "They should contact their local school board to express their objection to allowing the most powerful LGBT advocacy group in the state the access to essentially teach their children. Second, parents must call their legislators to support the Protecting Parental Involvement in Curriculum Act. I encourage everyone in NJ who believes in the rights of parents to raise their children without government to sign our petition."

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About The Author

Steve Warren is a senior multimedia producer for CBN News. Warren has worked in the news departments of television stations and cable networks across the country. In addition, he also worked as a producer-director in television production and on-air promotion. A Civil War historian, he authored the book The Second Battle of Cabin Creek: Brilliant Victory. It was the companion book to the television documentary titled Last Raid at Cabin Creek currently streaming on Amazon Prime. He holds an M.A. in Journalism from the University of Oklahoma and a B.A. in Communication from the University of