Not In My Backyard.

That seems to be the attitude of the Sussex County Board of Freeholders.

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They've come out against marijuana law reform and reproductive rights.

Their latest target of opposition is educating students about lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) issues. The Freeholders recently passed a resolution opposing the revised standards approved by the New Jersey State Board of Education. Their rationale? They believe parents are better qualified to teach their children about such matters. Matters many of them know nothing about because they have never experienced it themselves. 

But, let's take a look at that contention. Educators have received specific, unbiased instruction on these issues, to be passed along to their students. The purpose of this instruction is to promote understanding based on facts and science, not emotion and opinion. Parents, for the most part, have their own built-in biases. 

Those parents fundamentally opposed to the LGBTQ community will be likely to instill their own biased agenda in their teachings, leaving children questioning misinformed. They will substitute their faith-based teachings for the approved public-school education. That's their right---if their children are not enrolled in public schools. But if they are so enrolled, then they must receive the education as created by the public schooling system. Otherwise, they should send their children to the private school of their choice. If issues like this are so important to parents, then they better dig deep and file that paperwork before they miss the enrollment date. 

But it's important to note that the Freeholders have no authority to alter the curriculum in the county's public schools and they know it. With that in mind, the question remains: why waste taxpayer time and money to debate and pass a meaningless resolution yet again? They have passed similar resolutions disapproving of the legalization of recreational marijuana and the Reproductive Freedom Act---laws over which, once again, they have no ability to contradict. This is just another ploy of many meant to distract from their inability to govern and their failure to properly fight and protect our county from the ever growing COVID-19 crisis. 

So yes, we get it. NIMBY.

But it's not the Freeholders' backyard, It's our backyard. They need to start doing their job and stop trying to distract the residents of Sussex County, or face the music come election day. 

Michael Schnackenberg
Newton, NJ