In Trenton yesterday, Commissioner Dawn Fantasia joined hundreds of concerned parents from across New Jersey in requesting the State Board of Education repeal its August amendments to the Chapter 7 - including the removal of gendered nouns and pronouns and the requirement that schools separating children by gender do so based on gender identity. Mayor Mike Inganamort submitted a Rule Making Petition on the same. Click below for Dawn's testimony.
Citing their strong pro-2A records and advocacy, the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) has announced its endorsement of Assemblyman Parker Space for Senate and Commissioner Dawn Fantasia and Mayor Mike Inganamort for Assembly.
In the Assembly, Parker Space has been the sponsor of numerous pro-2A bills intended to protect the rights of gun owners across New Jersey. Parker Space has received an A+ rating from the NRA in each of his re-election campaigns.
On the Commissioner Board, Dawn Fantasia formally declared Sussex County a 2A/Lawful Gun Owner County. Mike Inganamort was a longtime aide to pro-gun Congressman Scott Garrett and a past delegate to the NRA's youth summit.
Parker Space, Dawn Fantasia, and Mike Inganamort are all lifetime NRA members, gun owners, and longtime advocates for the New Jersey bear hunt.
Earlier this year, the New Jersey 2nd Amendment Society and the New Jersey Outdoor Alliance endorsed the Space, Fantasia, Inganamort ticket.
In the Legislature next year, Parker, Dawn, and Mike will continue their fight for New Jersey's gun owners and sportsmen and sportswomen.
Mayor Mike Inganamort submitted the following written testimony to the New Jersey State Board of Education for their August 6, 2023 meeting.
Dear Members of the New Jersey State Board of Education:
On behalf of many concerned parents I represent in Chester Township, I strongly encourage you to repeal the August 2, 2023 updates to the state's educational equity rules. I regret that I am unable to testify in person today, but wish to convey my community's grave concern and strong expectation that you right this wrong.
Among the more troublesome changes to these rules are the elimination of gendered nouns and pronouns and the requirement that schools separating students by sex shall do so based on gender identity. The former is a solution in search of a problem. The latter was hastily-adopted, politically-driven, antithetical to established science, and could have far worse long-term impacts on young students.
When and where bullying exists or children are made to feel unwelcome, there exists an opportunity to educate on the Golden Rule. Instead, the Board of Education recommends reorienting the construct of gender, with little regard for the deep confusion this is causing among impressionable young people. This rule change also has the effect of removing a students' parents or trusted family members from the conversation on deeply personal or moral topics.
The State Board of Education has seriously overstepped in adopting these amendments, driving a wedge between children and their parents, putting teachers in an awful position to tackle moral and sexual topics outside their domain and interest areas, and eroding trust in school leadership, to say nothing of the disregard for the people's elected voice on these topics: the New Jersey Legislature.
Please repeal these ill-conceived rule changes.
Mayor, Chester Township
My name is Dawn Fantasia. For the past 17 years, I have worked in NJ public education, both in a traditional public school and public charter schools as a teacher, and then as a vice principal, a middle school principal, and a district-level administrator. For the past five years, I have served on the Sussex County Board of County Commissioners, and I am a mother of three.
This is not my first time testifying before you. I have been here multiple times to request equality for public charter school funding, for equality of opportunity relating to school choice. Curiously, “equitable” treatment and funding for students trapped in failing schools seems to be outside the purview of those who the board majority wishes to “protect”.
However, I am here today to address the recent updates to Chapter 7, Managing for Equality and Equity in Education. It is important to note that this board received 846 comments regarding the proposed changes, with the majority of commentary in opposition.
I take issue with multiple amendments, but I’ll start with one that largely has flown “under the radar”; one that I believe illustrates the tone-deaf nature of not only this board, but also the Murphy administration.
Parents and families have grown increasingly fervent in demanding that information be shared with all stakeholders - lest we forget, parents are stakeholders - as politicians and board appointees take sweeping liberties in crafting progressive updates that align to the en-vogue “cause du jour”. Thousands of parents across the state have requested information and access to curriculum and learning materials, and facing unnecessary barriers, now demand to be directly involved in their child’s education.
As such, imagine my surprise to learn that in this current climate:
“the Department proposes amendments at N.J.A.C. 6A:7-1.6(a)2, which requires the district board of education to invite parents and other community members to participate in the professional development training. The Department proposes, instead, to require the district board of education to ensure that parents and community members are aware of professional development training provided to school district personnel regarding topics around equity. The proposed amendments ensure that parents and community members receive information regarding topics around equity in an appropriate format separate from professional development training for school district personnel.”
As a school principal, I have been evaluated by standards for school leaders, which prominently and repeatedly include collaboration with parents and the greater community. How tone-deaf is it that in this climate, this board yet again elects to shut parents out of direct involvement, and relegates them to passive receivers of information?
Logistical challenges are not a valid excuse for the elimination of this requirement. I have spent the last six years as a middle school principal, navigating more and more arduous, time-consuming guidelines. I question just how many members of this board have spent as much time in a public school building in the last few years. How many of you have taken these feel-good directives and actually lived them in practice? My guess is very few. How many active, in-the-classroom educators have you consulted prior to devising “updates”, or is this another example of operating in a silo, a politically-driven echo chamber?
To continue, the board continues its progressive trend of violating the rights and protections of female students.
The Fourteenth Amendment is clear: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
This board has codified the lunacy established by the NJSIAA, which first in 2009, and again in 2017, allowed for biological males to compete in female sports.
I implore you - where is the common sense? How could the board majority codify such a policy that hurts our daughters? That targets female student athletes and rolls back decades of progress under Title IX?
It is a physiological fact that male athletes are superior to their female counterparts. As a result, female students now face an increased risk of injury, loss of scholarships, loss of records and titles, loss of playing time...and the list goes on.
"Similarly gifted and trained males have physical advantages over females—from greater height and weight and larger, longer, and stronger bones to larger muscles and higher rates of metabolizing and releasing energy. These innate physiological traits result in greater muscle strength; stronger throwing, hitting, and kicking; higher jumping; and faster running speeds for males, all of which create an athletic edge over females." (https://adflegal.org/article/why-male-athletes-who-identify-transgender-should-not-compete-womens-sports)
And what happens when a transgender student’s identification adversely affects competition or safety?
“If an NJSIAA member school believes that the participation of a particular transgender student would adversely affect competition or safety, that school may appeal the student’s eligibility. The appeal would be heard by the NJSIAA’s Eligibility Appeals Committee (a group of educators). The hearing would be confidential. The hearing would focus on issues related to competition and safety…” (https://www.njsiaa.org/sites/default/files/documents/2022-06/Transgender%20FAQ%27s%20Approved%206-8-22.pdf)
A child is only 15 years old once. Has their senior year once. So while the adults in charge are reactive - instead of proactive - days and weeks and months pass, the season is over, the title is gone, the scholarship opportunity has passed for females. How’s that for “feel good”?
And last, yet another example of zero common sense is separating students not based on physiology, but self-identification.
Have you ever thought - for even a moment - how unsettling it may be for a female to be alongside biological males for human sexuality lessons? That she may feel intimidated? That this may stifle her questions? Or is she somehow a second-class citizen? Are there no “safe spaces” any longer for girls, where their privacy is protected? It’s not protected in bathrooms. Not in locker rooms. Not on the playing field. And now, it is gone from the classroom.
This board has overstepped its authority in codifying these issues; the final straw is the threat of financial sanctions against school districts that do not comply by the board-established deadline. It is time for a step back and a long, hard look at how this board’s attempt at “equity” creates classes of winners and losers, and anything but a level playing field, both literally and figuratively.
Sussex County Commissioner
New Jersey Right to Life State PAC endorses Parker Space for Senate and Dawn Fantasia & Mike Inganamort for Assembly
Today pro-life Assemblyman and Senate candidate Parker Space and his pro-life running mates for Assembly, Dawn Fantasia and Mike Inganamort, announced their endorsement by the New Jersey Right to Life State PAC for their candidacies in the 24th District in the November 7th General Election.
“It is an honor to be endorsed by leaders in the pro-life movement,” said Space (R-Sussex, Warren, Morris), who along with his wife Jill have three adult children and one grandchild. “Working to advance the cause of life in Trenton has not been easy with radical liberal Democrats in charge of the agenda there, but our allies in this fight know where Dawn, Mike, and I stand and we appreciate their support.”
In the Assembly, Space has stood up for those who have no voice by opposing taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood and opposing physician-assisted suicide. After the unexpected death of Assemblyman Ron Dancer, he introduced the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act" (AKA the 20/20 bill or "Children in the Womb Feel Pain" bill) which follows science and bans abortion 20 weeks or more after fertilization – after which the unborn child is sensitive to pain. He is also the sponsor of other vital legislation, such as a bill to require the availability of a sonogram before an abortion is performed, requiring parental notification for a minor’s medical procedure, and the "New Jersey Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act" to protect babies who can live if they were born alive in an abortion or attempted abortion.
“As a pro-life Catholic and mother of three, I am appreciative of this endorsement and I look forward to continuing to work with pro-life leaders and activists if elected to the Assembly,” said Fantasia.
As a Sussex County Commissioner in November 2021, Fantasia moved for adoption and voted for a resolution opposing the so-called “Reproductive Freedom Act.” She was previously endorsed by the New Jersey Right to Life State PAC in previous years while running for County Commissioner.
“Legislation like this as well as the actual law Governor Murphy and the Democrat-controlled legislature enacted to codify abortion in New Jersey statutes are an abomination,” stated Fantasia. “The concept of allowing abortion right up until the moment of birth should make any rational adult sick to their stomachs.”
As a student at American University in Washington, DC, Inganamort helped found the university’s first-ever pro-life student organization – “AU Students for Life” – and organized diaper drives for one of Washington’s crisis pregnancy centers. While an aide to pro-life Congressman Scott Garrett, he participated in the annual March for Life in Washington. Inganamort is currently the Mayor of Chester Township.
“The Murphy agenda, which allows for abortions up to the moment of birth, is extreme and ignores the established medical consensus on fetal pain and viability,” said Inganamort, the father of three young children. “Stopping taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood, enacting the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, and reestablishing parents’ vital role with respect to their children’s medical decisions are top priorities for Parker, Dawn, and me.”
Marie Tasy, Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life PAC, said it was an easy decision to endorse Space, Fantasia, and Inganamort in the November 7th Election.
“Parker is a pro-life leader in the New Jersey Legislature,” said Tasy. “I have had the chance to get to know Dawn and Mike and I know their sincerity in wanting to join Parker in the legislature to continue the fight for the protection of the unborn against Murphy and his liberal cohorts in the legislature.”
“Pro-Life voters in Sussex, Morris, and Warren Counties should be proud to join me in support of Parker, Dawn, and Mike and vote for them this November,” Tasy concluded.
SPACE, FANTASIA, & INGANAMORT CONDEMN STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION FOR PROMOTING IDENTITY POLITICS IN SCHOOLS
Today, District 24 legislative candidates Assemblyman Parker Space for Senate and Dawn Fantasia and Mike Inganamort for Assembly ripped the Murphy administration and the New Jersey State Board of Education (BOE) for once again putting identity politics ahead of parental rights.
“These new regulations are ridiculous and a slap in the face to every parent in New Jersey,” said Space, who has championed parental rights legislation and has opposed dangerous curriculum standards pushed by Governor Murphy and the Democrats. “They need to be overturned, either in the courts or by the legislature.”
Yesterday, the State BOE approved changes to current regulations entitled “Managing for Equality and Equity in Education” that, among other things, would mandate that separation between boys and girls for education classes and sports would not be based on science, but instead on gender identity - not biological sex - allowing biological boys to compete in girls’ sports. Additionally, the new regulations removed gendered nouns and pronouns, as well as all mentions of the word "equality".
“As a parent and an educator, I am disgusted that, yet again, the Murphy administration has steamrolled parents and educators in order to force their unscientific, misguided progressive agenda into our public schools,” said Fantasia, who is a Sussex County Commissioner and a public charter school administrator. "These new regulations are a thinly-veiled attack on the rights of female students, and they strip away the level playing field that so many have fought for."
As an Assemblyman, Space joined with fifteen of his legislative colleagues, including Senator Steve Oroho and Assemblyman Hal Wirths in urging the State BOE not to vote on these controversial changes; Fantasia and Inganamort sent their own joint letter vigorously opposing the standards as well.
Word already is out that lawsuits are being prepared to challenge the new regulations. Moreover, under the oversight power of the state legislature, the Assembly and Senate could vote to overturn the regulations without approval of the Governor.
“This is why it is imperative that those who are concerned with parental rights vote Republican this fall in order to gain majorities in both houses of the legislature,” said Inganamort, the Mayor of Chester Township and a parent of three girls. “I know I speak on behalf of Parker and Dawn when I say that we pledge to start the process to overturn these outrageous regulations if the Murphy administration does not rescind them.”
In fact, a Republican majority in both houses of the legislature can not only stop liberal legislation from passing, but also can overturn other draconian regulations and orders from Murphy, such as his future bans on gas stoves and traditional automobiles among others.
“If the voters empower Republicans, and if elected, Parker, Mike, and I will start the oversight process immediately come January and see to it that Murphy’s nonsense is overturned,” Fantasia added.
Citing "significant differences of opinion on a number of issues," Parker, Dawn, and Mike have notified the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) that they would reject their offer to pursue the organization's endorsement. The full letter is below.
We want to thank the voters of Sussex, Morris, and Warren counties who took part in the June 6th Republican primary. They have placed their trust in a strong conservative team, and we are honored to be their nominees for the State Legislature in NJ's 24th Legislative District.
As candidates, we will keep working hard to earn your trust as we take our campaign into the general election and interact with more voters throughout the district. As Republicans, we look forward to demonstrating to the public how putting our Party in the majority in Trenton will help get us back on the right track.
Our campaign message will highlight the extreme policies of the Democrats that have made our state even more unaffordable and uncompetitive, forcing residents and jobs out of state. This will include educating voters about the governor’s expensive energy plan that will drive up costs for all consumers and rallying parents to join with us in fighting against local school aid cuts that hurt students and increase property taxes. We will also continue pushing back on the Democrats’ ultra-progressive agenda that has stripped away many rights of concerned parents, legal gun owners, and the unborn - and handcuffed law enforcement. It’s not an exaggeration to say that our traditional way of life is under attack in Northwest New Jersey.
We are excited to carry the Republican banner and welcome the opportunity to engage the voters as we march toward November and what will hopefully wind up being a new dawn in the State Legislature.
Thank you again for your support.
Parker Space, Dawn Fantasia, and Mike Inganamort
Over the past several months, Republican primary voters have been hearing extensive appeals from the candidates seeking elected office.
We would like to reiterate why we are strongly supporting the campaign ticket of Parker Space for Senate, Dawn Fantasia and Mike Inganamort for Assembly, and Gary Chiusano for Surrogate.
Parker and Gary are uncontested in the primary and their conservative records are well-known. They will carry the Republican banner well in the general election.
The most high-profile contest is for the state Assembly and we trust Dawn and Mike are the solid choice to complement Parker in representing the 24th Legislative District in Trenton.
They are passionate advocates for parental rights, Second Amendment liberties, staunchly pro-life, pro-police and we know they’ll work hard every day for smaller, smarter government that places the taxpayers first.
We are also pleased they are committed to maintaining our joint district office, which has helped countless residents. You will often hear us say the most important thing we do as legislators is constituent service.
Now that we are stepping away from elected office, we care deeply about what follows once our terms end.
So we are kindly asking this of you, the voters, who have placed your trust in us each time we have been on the ballot previously. Please consider placing your trust in us once again and join us by voting for Parker Space for Senate, Dawn Fantasia and Mike Inganamort for Assembly, and Gary Chiusano for Surrogate.
Sen. Steve Oroho
Assemblyman Hal Wirths
We were overwhelmed by the support of colleagues, family, and friends last night at Dawn's fundraiser. Special thanks to Senator Steven Oroho and Assemblyman Hal Wirths for your kind words, to all members of the Host Committee and generous sponsors, and to all who came from near and far to rally around our Hometown Conservative Team. We appreciate you, and our hearts are full. Time to take our fight for northwest New Jersey to Trenton.