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Fighting New Jersey’s Unconstitutional Assault on Parental Rights

Platkin v. Marlboro Township Board of Education

Case Status

Date Filed

August 14, 2023

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Case Overview

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.

Case Logistics

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.

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