School board in Orange County, CA approves parental notification, defying state officials.
By Eileen Griffin
The Orange Unified School District in California will require schools to notify parents if their child claims to be transgender.
The September school board meeting in Orange County, California was long and emotional, the Los Angeles Times reported. Advocates from both sides of the issue held rallies and addressed the board as the meeting extended into the night.
The policy proposed requiring that parents be notified if a child under the age of 12 approaches a teacher or administrator requesting to use a gender identity different than what is listed in formal records.
Parents are to be notified if a child requests that pronouns be used that do not match the official record, or if they start using a bathroom or changing area other than the one their biological sex would indicate they should use.
Counselors having conversations with minors about gender issues also fall under the notification requirement.
The policy mandates a two-day notification period for teachers. The principal of the school is allowed five days to let parents know of their child’s request.
‘Witch Hunt’ or ‘Freedom’?
Some demonstrating against the policy told KCAL that “outing” kids to their parents before they are ready is “dangerous.” One woman called the effort a “witch hunt.”
One policy opponent said it was important for children to have a “safe space” in their schools with counselors and teachers.
Parents in favor of the policy said not informing parents of something as important as a child changing gender was the real danger. One called it “criminal.”
“We want freedom,” one mother said addressing the school board during the meeting. “Freedom to take care of our kids and teach them what we want them to learn.”
Three of the board members ended up leaving during the chaos. The remaining four board members passed the policy with a unanimous vote. When the motion passed, the crowd cheered in support.
Orange County Unified is the sixth school district in the state of California to adopt the parental notification policy, EdSource reports.
Parental Rights Bill Ignored
School districts became obligated to create their own policies when the State Legislature refused to consider Assembly Bill 1314 in April. The bill would have required parental notification if a child requests to change gender identity at school. The bill was denied a hearing in the State Assembly.
Some called the school board process a waste of time since it is unlikely the policy will withstand state-level backlash.
As school districts attempt to assert local control on issues related to education and parental rights, the state is opposing their efforts.
State Officials Threaten Schools
During the Orange Unified school board meeting, California Attorney General Rob Bonta emailed the board members warning he would take action against them in the name of protecting students’ civil rights, KCAL reports.
After passing a similar parental notification policy, Chino Unified is facing an investigation and lawsuit for violating students’ civil rights.
Temecula Valley School District was threatened by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) when they rejected curriculum infused with far left ideology, as Heartland Daily News previously reported. After facing a $1.5 million fine, the school board agreed to implement the state-mandated curriculum.
Three of the most powerful elected officials in California are actively working against conservatives, even at the local level, NBC reports. Newsom, Bonta, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond are all using their respective powers to oppose conservative school board policies.
“Over the past four months, they’ve entered the local frays to a far greater and more public extent than leaders in any other blue state,” writes Tyler Kingkade for NBC.
When the Chino School District was told Bonta had filed a lawsuit against them, school board member Sonja Shaw told NBC, “Once again, you have the political cartel of Bonta, Newsom and Thurmond taking power and dictating what they want to us local elected officials.”
If Bonta’s lawsuit against the Chino School District succeeds, Bonta says his goal is to strike down the parental notification policies implemented at the other five districts.
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