A profound transformation!

A new policy in New Jersey’s Hanover Township Public Schools has fallen into the middle of the culture wars and drawn some fire. Like, suit from the Attorney General kind of fire.

New Jersey’s guidance for schools, based on the state’s Law Against Discrimination, asserts that educators have no affirmative responsibility to alert parents when their children express gender identities contrary to their birth sex, or sexual orientations other than heterosexual. There are many reasons for this, but they all begin from the assumption that such discoveries are part of developing cherished identity, rather than symptoms of mental illnesses.

In Hanover Township, however, the new policy requires everyone who works in the school to alert parents to anything presenting a “material impact.” The list of such things is long. Interestingly, sexuality and gender identity are on the same plane as gang affiliation, pornography, suicidal ideation, and more.

The Honor Roll this ain’t.

I had a lot of questions, and turned immediately to ChatGPT. My first wondering: what would the letter home look like? As the text flowed, I began to realize that we may be missing the glorious benefits of this new policy.

See below, and weep for what could be outing kids to their parents without their consent.

Dear Parent,

I hope this letter finds you in good health and high spirits. I am writing to share some remarkable news regarding your son, Pinocchio. I am delighted to inform you that Pinocchio has undergone a profound transformation, resulting in a material impact that I must now relay to you.

In a truly extraordinary turn of events, Pinocchio has transcended his puppet origins and has become an actual living boy. Yes, you read that correctly! Through some enchantment bestowed upon the wooden figure, he has acquired life, consciousness, and all the qualities of a human being. This momentous development has left both myself and my colleagues in awe.

Pinocchio's newfound existence as a real boy has had a profound effect on our educational setting. His presence has enriched our classroom dynamic, fostering a heightened sense of wonder and curiosity among his peers. The other students have warmly embraced him, eager to learn from and engage with their extraordinary classmate.

From an academic standpoint, Pinocchio's transition has been remarkable. With his newfound capacity for learning and understanding, he has exhibited a remarkable ability to grasp concepts and apply them in practical situations. His enthusiasm for knowledge and eagerness to participate have proven contagious, inspiring his classmates to push their own boundaries and achieve greater heights.

Moreover, the impact of Pinocchio's transformation extends beyond the confines of our classroom. His experiences and interactions have facilitated invaluable life lessons, fostering empathy, and promoting understanding among his peers. Through his journey, he has come to appreciate the value of honesty, integrity, and the consequences of his choices.

As Pinocchio's teacher, I must commend him for his resilience and determination. Throughout this extraordinary transformation, he has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to personal growth and self-improvement. His journey serves as an inspiration to all of us, reminding us that change is possible and that we should embrace it with open hearts and minds.

Rest assured that we continue to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for Pinocchio's ongoing development. We are collaborating with specialists to ensure he receives the appropriate guidance and education required for his unique circumstances.

In conclusion, I want to express my deep admiration for Pinocchio's journey and the profound impact it has had on our classroom. The transformation from marionette to real boy has been nothing short of miraculous, and I am grateful to witness this incredible phenomenon.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding Pinocchio's progress or his integration into our educational environment, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I am more than willing to discuss any aspect of this extraordinary occurrence.

Once again, I extend my heartfelt congratulations to you and your son for this extraordinary turn of events. It is a privilege to be a part of Pinocchio's journey as he continues to grow and thrive in his newfound existence.

Warmest regards,

[Teacher's Name]

Dr. Jeff Moore is an educational leader with nearly thirty years of experience in public schools in New Jersey, USA. Here, he imagines a future for American public education grounded in equity, personalization, and service learning.

Jeff writes on this blog as himself, sharing his own opinions, and is not representing or speaking for any school or organization.