Home>Education>Flynn, Scharfenberger propose bills stopping school districts from banning military personnel

Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger and Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn at Gov. Phil Murphy's fiscal year 2023 budget address delivered on March 8, 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Flynn, Scharfenberger propose bills stopping school districts from banning military personnel

Legislation is based on anecdotal Monmouth County incident

By Joey Fox, August 10 2022 12:40 pm

Two Monmouth County legislators, Assemblywoman Vicky Flynn (R-Holmdel) and Assemblyman Gerry Scharfenberger (R-Middletown), proposed legislation today prohibiting school districts from barring military personnel who wish to speak with students and requiring schools to “highlight the benefits” of military enlistment.

“The leadership, courage, and values associated with the members of the United States Armed Forces is nothing short of extraordinary,” Scharfenberger said in a statement. “Young adults should have every opportunity to learn from these heroes as well as what the future could have in store for them should they choose to serve our nation.”

According to Flynn and Scharfenberger, a U.S. Marine was recently denied the ability to speak at his child’s Monmouth County high school because of his military service. There’s been no coverage of the incident – or of any other like it in New Jersey – so it’s hard to say how much impact Flynn’s and Scharfenberger’s proposed legislation would really have.

“I was shocked to hear that school districts throughout this state would treat the members of armed forces in such an inhospitable manner, especially since schools should be creating partnerships with military personnel in our area to expose students to those in the military who are extremely qualified to discuss concepts of leadership, bravery, grit, and perseverance,” Flynn said.

It’s not uncommon for legislators to introduce bills based on their constituents’ experiences or anecdotes they’ve come across, though getting those bills to the governor’s desk can be a tough task.

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-West Orange), for example, has introduced legislation limiting box sizes after he personally received a “Baby on Board” sticker in an oversized package; State Sen. Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), meanwhile, recently pushed for a bill expanding anti-stalking laws after hearing from the family of a harassed woman. (Both bills are still in limbo in the legislature.)

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