California State Official Escorted Out Of Heated School Board Meeting On Gender Policy

The Chino Valley Unified School District approved the parental notification policy.
RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA - MAY 17: California State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond holds the book "Red: A Crayon's Story" during a news conference at Nystrom Elementary School on May 17, 2022 in Richmond, California. California State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond celebrated the donation of thousands of LGBTQ+ books from Gender Nation to 234 elementary schools in nine California districts. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

California’s superintendent of public instruction was escorted out of a heated school board meeting on Thursday after he argued against a new policy requiring schools to tell parents about student gender transitions.

The Chino Valley Unified School District just east of Los Angeles approved the gender policy on Thursday after several hours of debate.

The new policy requires teachers to inform parents if their children begin using names and pronouns that do not match the ones on their birth certificate or if a student requests to use the school bathroom of the opposite gender.

California State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond showed up at Thursday’s packed meeting and addressed the school board.

“I ask you to consider this, that nearly half of students who identify as being LGBTQ+ are considering suicide,” Thurmond said. “I ask you to consider this, that the policy that you consider tonight not only may fall outside of the laws that respect privacy and safety for our students, but may put our students at risk because they may not be in homes where they can be safe.”

Thurmond’s speaking time ran out and his microphone was cut, but he continued speaking for several seconds afterward.


Chino Valley school board president Sonja Shaw responded and pushed back on Thurmond’s criticism.

“Tony Thurmond, I appreciate you being here tremendously, but here’s the problem. We’re here because of people like you. You’re in Sacramento proposing things that pervert children,” Shaw said as the crowd in the room erupted into cheers.

Thurmond returned to the podium and asked to be allowed to respond.

“No, this is not your meeting. You may have a seat, because if I did that to you in Sacramento you would not accept it. Please sit.” Shaw said. “You will not bully us here in Chino.”

Four security officers approached Thurmond and motioned for him to leave, which he did not do immediately. One of the security officers took him by the arm before Thurmond relented and walked out of the room to shouts, chants, and clapping from the crowd.

Members of the community had packed into the meeting, many holding signs and wearing shirts expressing their position on the gender transition policy.

Some held signs expressing their disapproval, one of which read, “Queer Nation.”

Many others expressed support for the policy. A group of men brought two large American flags into the meeting, and some attendees wore shirts reading, “Leave Our Kids Alone.”

“Anyone who wants to hide things from me about my little kids, you’re no friend of mine,” said one dad who addressed the board.

“I just want to apologize to Sonja,” one mother told the board president. “I just thank you so much for your bravery. You are in your position because we the parents, like we the people, have had enough of the garbage.”

“It’s obvious that we’re looking at a spiritual battle right now,” the mom added. “These demons are after our children.”

Thurmond previously announced a partnership between California’s Education Department and the Los Angeles Office of Education to give teachers “cultural competency training” and “provide resources to bolster support for LGBTQ youth.”

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