California has become a battleground where parents’ concerns about their children’s education and well-being collide with progressive gender policies. Now, a group of parents from across the political spectrum is pushing for parental rights to be prioritized over partisan divisions.
Where it Started
California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta has opened a lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) Board of Education and ignited a debate over parental notification policies in the state.
The CVUSD had previously voted on a policy that requires staff to inform parents if their child identifies as transgender.
The move by the attorney general was met with a series of parental concerns, and it is not limited to conservative voices.
Parents Aren’t Welcome
In a recent op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, editorial board member Allysia Finley wrote, “It takes a village but in California, parents aren’t welcome” and pointed out that parents are sick of California’s education policies coming from all sides of the political aisle.
When Finley discussed the concerned parents, she wrote, “Republicans make up only about a third of voters, and only 12% of students are White. The policy was spurred by parents of all colors and political stripes who complained that school employees were encouraging their children to adopt opposite-sex identities.”
Finley also claimed, “The lawsuit encapsulates the popular view of left-wing governments: Parents can’t be trusted with their own children,” and, “the state of California is deeming parents who don’t subscribe to the left’s woke ideology a mortal danger to their children”
Finley also discussed a letter the National School Boards Association wrote to President Biden in 2021. The letter suggested that parents protesting over leftist curriculum are “threats and acts of violence” and could be considered “domestic terrorism.”
Erin Friday’s Perspective
Erin Friday, a Democrat, is among those parents who have raised their voices against the prevailing policies. Friday’s daughter underwent a gender transition at school without parental consent.
In an interview with Fox, Friday said, “The party is just not listening to us,” and “They want to frame this as right versus left, and this is about child safeguarding. It has nothing to do with party affiliation whatsoever.”
Friday has joined forces with the newly formed group Protect Kids California. Together, they are advocating for three 2024 ballot initiatives aimed at safeguarding children in the state.
The first initiative seeks to prevent minors from undergoing gender-affirming care procedures or receiving puberty blockers without parental consent.
The second initiative would require schools to inform parents if their child elects to adopt a different gender identity than their biological sex.
The third initiative addresses the issue of biological males competing in girls’ sports, a concern that has gained attention at various levels of sports competition.
Jonathan Zachreson, a Republican with Protect Kids California, said, “We have to collect 550,000 ballot signatures over six months starting in November” and “if we can show that in the bluest of blue states can shun these practices, then it can happen anywhere in the country.”
Though the issue is controversial, it seems many support the parents, with one social media user commenting, “As a retired teacher I was always happy to listen to parents. I was sad when they did not care. Children do not belong to the state period.”
Featured Image Credit: Shutterstock / JessicaGirvan