August 14, 2023
Parents have a fundamental right to control and direct the education, upbringing, and healthcare decisions of their children. But they cannot fully exercise that right if government officials hide important information from them about their children. Unfortunately, schools across the country are doing just that. Now the Goldwater Institute is stepping up to help a New Jersey mom by defending the Marlboro Township Board of Education’s new parental notification policy against an unprecedented assault from the New Jersey Attorney General. This policy requires school officials to inform a child’s parents/guardians if the school decides to recognize the child as transgender and grant accommodations based on that decision. It also prevents school officials from concealing information from parents about their own children.
Hiding vital information from parents about a child’s psychological and physical development is both wrong and unconstitutional. The United States Supreme Court has consistently held that parents have a fundamental right to control and direct the education and care of their children—a right that the New Jersey Supreme Court has also recognized under the state constitution. These parental rights are broad, and the government may only intrude on them when necessary to protect a child’s health and safety—for example, if there is evidence of abuse.
Unfortunately, the New Jersey Attorney General has decided that Marlboro’s parental notification policy violates the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (LAD), a state anti-discrimination statute. The Attorney General bases his action on an interpretation of the LAD by the New Jersey Department of Education. He then filed an Administrative Complaint with the New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, Division on Civil Rights (“DCR”) against the school district and is seeking an injunction in state court to prevent Marlboro from the implementing the parental notification policy.
The Goldwater Institute is representing Angela Tycenski, a New Jersey mom, as an intervening party.
The Case was filed in the Superior Court Of New Jersey Chancery Division, General Equity Part: Monmouth County.
Angela is asking the court to reject the Attorney General’s attempt to block implementation of the Policy and to declare that the Department of Education’s guidance, relied upon by the Attorney General, is unconstitutional.
Adam Shelton is a Staff Attorney at the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation. Prior to joining Goldwater, Adam was a fellow with the Institute for Justice’s Center for Judicial Engagement and its Project on Immunity and Accountability. While there, he authored multiple amicus briefs filed in state and federal courts, and wrote frequently… Read more...
John Thorpe is a Staff Attorney at the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation, where he litigates in the areas of education, free speech, economic liberty, government transparency, regulatory reform, and property rights. After graduating from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, John clerked for Judge Carolyn B. McHugh… Read more...
Jon Riches is the Vice President for Litigation for the Goldwater Institute’s Scharf-Norton Center for Constitutional Litigation and General Counsel for the Institute. He litigates in federal and state trial and appellate courts in the areas of economic liberty, regulatory reform, free speech, taxpayer protections, public labor issues, government transparency, and school choice, among others.… Read more...
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