Parental Backlash in New Jersey Prompts Cartoon Ad Campaign

As HiTOPS educators furtively ply their trade in New Jersey, many parents and the Sussex County Republican Committee are fighting yet another assault on parental rights. The object of their ire is Governor Phil Murphy, who earlier this year championed state guidelines that exempt schools from having to inform parents if a student chooses to change his or her gender identity.

According to Red State of Mind, the new rule states: “There is no affirmative duty for any school district personnel to notify a student’s parent or guardian of the student’s gender identity or expression.” The rule prompted concern not only among parents, but also teachers, some of whom believe the state is overstepping its role and “separating parents from children.”

To illustrate the extent of parental outrage, the Sussex County Republican Club commissioned “a powerful political cartoon as a symbol of resistance against Democratic New Jersey Governor [Murphy’s] school guidelines, which have raised concerns about parental rights and the role of the state in influencing children’s education.”

Fox News displayed the cartoon, which shows the governor “tearing a child away from his parents, while demon-looking aides poke him with needles and are seemingly ready to force him into a dress.” The tagline reads: “No Family is Safe from Phil Murphy's Sex Ed Mandates!” The cartoon is part of a new social media and billboard advertising campaign to be featured in more than 50 locations in northwest New Jersey, according to Shore News Network.

A chief architect of the campaign is parent and Sussex County GOP Chairman Joseph LaBarbera, who believes the latest state government overreach is unconstitutional. A few school districts are also resisting the new rule and refusing to abide by it for the same reason.

In retaliation, the state filed suit against these districts, which include Middletown, Marlboro, and Manalapan-Englishtown. The lawsuit against Marlboro uses the familiar claim that: “Outing these students against their will poses serious mental health risks; threatens physical harm to students, including risking increased suicides; decreases the likelihood students will seek support; and shirks the District’s obligation to create a safe and supportive learning environment for all.” But observers say the real issue is that disregard of the guidelines means less manipulation and control of children by the schools, less freedom to groom them, with the end result that many will naturally outgrow their gender dysphoria.

LaBarbera explains that the cartoon ad is intended to create awareness among parents who may not know about the state’s new guidelines. “We have to shelter our children,” he says. “The public arena is becoming more and more difficult for parents to be able to trust their kids to the schools.” He recommends private schools or homeschooling. “Bite the bullet and spend the money,” he says, “or homeschool. Homeschooling is through the roof; so many people we know are homeschooling their children.”

Brian Mason, a parent of seven who has four children in Middletown schools, applauds the ad campaign. "I believe the Sussex County GOP is doing the right thing with this campaign against the governor’s education mandates," he told FOX News Digital.

Mason called the governor “desperate to cater to the extreme left wing of his party” and is actually “pushing moderate Democrats away....” He added that the state “has stepped over the line” by suing districts who refuse to go along with keeping parents in the dark.

“Many of these children are elementary and middle schoolers and should not be pushed to make a major decision alone, especially when it comes to something that will have long-lasting consequences for their health,” Mason said. “And teachers shouldn’t be put between parents and their children.... These kids are being socially transitioned, and pushed by people driven by an ideology that’s going to prove detrimental both physically and mentally.”

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