(The Center Square) – Murrieta Valley Unified School District adopted a controversial parental notification policy enacted in nearby Chino Valley, while a similar measure failed to get on the agenda in Kern County for now.
In a highly contested public meeting, the school board voted 3-2 to adopt the new parental notification policy. This policy, called “identical” to the Chino Valley school district’s measure, requires parents to be notified in writing within three days if a student is involved in violence, talks about suicide, or requests to identify with or participate in programs or use school facilities that are for a gender different from what is on their birth certificate or official records.
“We 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,” said school board member Nicolas Pardue at the meeting.
In response to the policy, California Attorney General Rob Bonta called the new measure a “forced outing policy” and said, “My office remains committed to ensuring school policies do not target or seek to discriminate against California’s most vulnerable communities. California will not stand for violations of our students’ civil rights.”
Bonta recently announced he is opening a civil rights investigation into Chino Valley Unified School District for their adoption of the policy, which is modeled on AB 1314, a California Assembly measure proposed by Assemblymember Bill Essayli (R—Woodcrest) that failed to be heard by committee.
A similar measure failed to get on the board agenda for the Kern County Board of Education during another contentious meeting. Several members of the Kern County board had invited pro-measure policy experts to speak and engage in a conversation with the board and public in an effort to bring the measure, which had been previously been placed on the agenda but was pulled days before, to an eventual vote by the whole board. However, the size and intensity of the crowd brought on the topic without it even being formally on the agenda led the board to not yet place the item formally on the agenda for next month’s meeting.
California Policy Center Vice President of Government Affairs Lance Christensen, who is assisting with organizing similar measures across the state, was invited to and spoke at the meeting. In a phone interview, Christensen said, ““Parents are not a problem to be solved. They should be communicated with and trusted and engaged in their children’s education. And that’s all we’re trying to accomplish with these parental notification policies.”