The Diploma Debacle

23 March 2023
A new piece of legislation has serious concerns for all New Jersey schools including our own Christian school.

By: John Van Der Brink

Some legislators in the Assembly have introduced Bill 1588 which would require all New Jersey schools to issue diplomas in the “preferred name” of the graduate instead of his/her real name. Ironically, the school will not be allowed to require students to provide legal documentation of a legal name or gender change. Under this bill, schools would also be required to update their academic records showing a legal name or gender change of a former student.

This bill is set to be voted on by the full Assembly soon. A similar Senate Bill 2775 has been introduced but has not been heard by any Senate committees yet. Where this legislation will go is something that only time will tell. But it is easy to see the absolute disaster and total confusion which will result if it is passed. The accuracy and reliability of school records will be destroyed. One can only hope that there is enough common sense in the majority of legislatures who will see this bill for what it is, and reject it completely.

A bill about diplomas – is that so important? Perhaps it sounds rather trivial. But there is something more to consider here. Why does a bill like this even get written? Because there are those who want to pave the way and remove any opposition from society, completely. They want everyone to accept, endorse, and celebrate gender fluidity. They want to remove any hesitancy which arises from religious convictions, from legal implications, and even from parental influence. We are living in a society which claims to promote tolerance, but often practices intolerance towards conservative values.

Please note that the target of this legislation is not just public schools. The woke culture is trying to reach into every American institution, even the Christian church, school, and home. They want to change  the way we think, the way we believe and the way we behave. Christians need to learn to take a stand against the gradual but persistent inroads already being made. May the Lord give courage, wisdom and discretion in facing these and other matters in our present society. Let us pray for our nation and its leaders in this difficult time.

John Van Der Brink, director of the Netherlands Reformed Christian School in Pompton Plains, New Jersey, and a member of the Board of Directors of Christian Council International (CCI)