Second Calif. school district adopts parental notification policy for kids suffering from gender confusion

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images
Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images

A California school district has enacted a policy requiring staff to inform parents if their child requests to identify as the opposite sex on the heels of violent threats that resulted in an arrest over a similar policy at another district in the state. 

The Murrieta Valley Unified School District heard comments from people on both sides of the debate about whether schools should inform parents if their child expresses a desire to identify as trans or non-binary. 

In a 3-2 vote following a meeting last Thursday, the board passed the proposal submitted by board President Paul F. Diffley III and clerk Nicolas Pardue. The policy requires staff to notify parents within three days after becoming aware of a student’s request to be treated as a member of the opposite sex. 

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Staff must also notify parents if the student is using a bathroom or playing on an athletic team that does not align with their biological sex, and they must notify parents about requests to change information contained on the student’s official or unofficial records. 

“The stakes are really high when you have young kids who are flirting with these different ideations about what their gender is at a very young age because right now, the state of California, for whatever reason, is intent on allowing minors to alter who they are physically,” Pardue said during the meeting. 

The Murrieta Valley Unified School District did not immediately respond to The Christian Post’s request for comment. 

As The Los Angeles Times reported Friday, a few supporters of the policy attended the meeting holding signs that read “Protect Family Bonds,” in contrast to some opponents of the policy who wore rainbow-colored attire. 

Jessica Tapia, a former physical education teacher, asserted that parents are the “greatest protectors.” Tapia has accused the Jurupa Unified School District of discriminating against her for her Christian beliefs, alleging that she was fired for refusing to conceal students’ confusion about their sexual identities from their parents. 

“As a parent myself, I can’t help but think how anti-family the current state guidance is,” Tapia said.

Prior to the meeting, the school board president also expressed support for the policy in an interview with The LA Times, stating that as a parent himself, he would want to know “everything” concerning his child’s mental and physical health while they’re at school. 

“I don’t think there should be anything hidden because I have a fundamental right as a parent to bring up my child. ... If I can’t get all the information I need to have a reasonable discussion with my child, then the school is not doing its job,” Diffley said. 

Marinna De Brauwere, a mother of five children in the school district, however, argued against the policy requiring school district staff to inform parents about whether their child had expressed confusion about their biological sex. 

“People don’t choose to be transgender; they are transgender,” the mother argued. “School may be the one and only affirming space for these transgender youth.”

California’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, expressed a similar opinion in a letter he emailed to the board urging it to withdraw the policy item. Thurmond wrote in the Thursday letter that he “respects the rights of school districts to make decisions and implement policies that meet the unique needs of those served by their communities.” 

As The Christian Post previously reported, Thurmond attended a Chino Valley Unified School District meeting in July to express his objections to a similar policy. The superintendent of public instruction had a confrontational exchange during the meeting with CVUSD Board President Sonja Shaw. 

After the meeting, Thurmond indicated that he would be working with the State Attorney General’s office to verify if CVUSD’s policy violates California law. 

CVUSD passed its parental notification policy in a 4-1 decision in July, prompting various threats of violence and a police investigation that has resulted in at least one arrest. In an email to CP at the time, Shaw confirmed that one of the “multiple threats” under investigation involved someone who went by the name “Antifa.” A related post warned the board president, “No justice, no peace, we know where you sleep.” 

Shaw is not alone, as other members of CVUSD’s board reported that threatening messages, emails and social media posts have also been sent to them.

Police announced that they had arrested Rebecca Morgan, 52, of Berkeley on Aug. 1 on suspicion of threatening a public official after investigators identified her as “one of those who made threats against members.”

Despite the threats, Shaw predicted that there would be more of a fight to come, but she cited God as her source of strength, admitting that she has turned to Him during this season for protection.

Samantha Kamman is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: Follow her on Twitter: @Samantha_Kamman

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