State Superintendent Forcibly Removed from Chino School Board Meeting

Tony Thurmond speaking in Davis in 2018

Special to the Vanguard

Chino, CA – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was invited by students and traveled to Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) on Thursday, July 20, to speak against a policy before the board that would out an LGBTQ+ student to their parents even if the student is not yet ready to share that information. Students had reached out to the Superintendent to request help due to feeling bullied and mistreated.

Thurmond took the mic to oppose the policy as antithetical to how trans students should be supported in our schools. His remarks were abruptly interrupted, and he was berated by the CVUSD Board President and then forcibly escorted out of the meeting by security.

After the meeting, Thurmond shared with reporters: “The actions of this board are deeply troubling—and I’m not talking about being thrown out of a public meeting—I am talking about the blatant disregard for student privacy and safety. Forced outing policies harm everyone—students, parents and guardians, families, and school staff. What CVUSD has done may be in violation of state law. We will be working closely with the State Attorney General’s office to verify and enforce California law.

“Choosing when to come out and to whom is a deeply personal decision that every LGBTQ+ young person has the right to make for themselves. This policy is taking away a student’s ability to seek comfort, safety, and security in our schools and from trusted adults and peers. As educators and education leaders, we should always be putting students first and doing all we can so they can learn and thrive.”

Superintendent Thurmond noted that while some parents and guardians are advocates and allies, not all are or ever will be. Like all young people, LGBTQ+ youth have the right to decide when and how to share their personal details about who they are or who they love, including with their parents and guardians, families, friends, and others at school. LGBTQ+ youth and their parents—not politicians—should decide when to have these conversations.

According to a release from the Department of Eduction, “Thurmond has been at the forefront of fighting for inclusive education for California students. He has fought for budget funding to secure 10,000 new mental health clinicians for California schools and has been actively working with the Legislature and Governor Gavin Newsom to pass Assembly Bill 1078 (Jackson), legislation he is sponsoring that would impose fines on any school district that withholds books or instructional materials for discriminatory means.”

Recently, Thurmond secured commitments from textbook publishers to diversify instructional materials and work with his task force on inclusive education.

He sent a joint letter with the Governor and Attorney General (DOCX) to local educational agencies cautioning against book bans and outlining legal mandates they are required to follow to preserve freedom and ensure access to diverse perspectives and curricula.

The joint letter follows guidance issued from Thurmond’s department addressing this topic.

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76 Comments

  1. Keith Olsen

    His remarks were abruptly interrupted

    He was allowed to speak in public comment but when his allotted time was he he refused to stop talking.

        1. David Greenwald

          I see a lot of public meetings, officials are using given a courtesy of extended remarks. It avoids the exact problem that they now have – headache that they didn’t need to create even if they were technically correct.

        2. Keith Olsen

          There were hundreds of people at that meeting, why should he get special treatment when he wasn’t invited by the board?  He even tried to take over the meeting at one point asking for a “point of order” to which he was rightfully shut down.

          1. David Greenwald

            So now they have a mess to deal with. I think it could have been handled better.

        3. Ron Oertel

          headache that they didn’t need to create even if they were technically correct.

          They have no “headache” as a result of this, other than perhaps “retaliation” in some form – which they also (might) welcome. 

          These people are “not afraid of” the state.

  2. Walter Shwe

    Bravo to Mr. Thurmond for taking a firm stand for inclusion and not discrimination. Down with LGBTQ+ bigotry, which comes almost exclusively from conservatives. This school board’s right wing policy will directly lead to more student suicides in their district.

    1. Ron Oertel

      This school board’s right wing policy will directly lead to more student suicides in their district.

      It is interesting that the argument is being framed as the school system “protecting kids” from their own parents’ lack of support – or worse.

      Well, “thank goodness” for the lifesavers in school systems, right?

      But now that I think about it, what if some of the teachers “think like” this school board (or the parents)? According to the argument, wouldn’t they then also be accessories to a suicide – in the same manner as the parents? Who, exactly gets “sued” in such a situation?

      1. Ron Oertel

        And for that matter, “who” would bring the lawsuit?  The parents who supposedly “contributed” to the suicide in the first place?

        Seems to me that the basic argument is that a lot of kids should supposedly be removed from their parents’ home, and placed in protective custody. If (instead) they’re “hoping” that an empathetic school system is “sufficient”, they’re probably not doing “enough”. In which case, the school district gets sued anyway, I guess.

        Sounds like a big problem – and that maybe half the kids in the school district should be removed from their parents’ custody. (They could probably conduct some kind of “qualification” test, to determine the safety of these kids in their own home. Ask questions such as whether or not the parents “believe” in biological sex, how they feel about Harvey Milk, etc.).

        The state is going to need a much-larger foster care system (and those folks are going to have to be more thoroughly-vetted, as well).

        1. Ron Oertel

          Just pointing out some of the absurdity behind all of this. This is, in fact – the underlying argument (that parents are “unfit” to parent).

          Personally, I see no reason for forced “parental notification”.  Then again, it seems that some school systems are assuming a role which is beyond their scope.

        2. Ron Oertel

          The law is the law whether you like it or not.

          When vast numbers of people are adamantly-opposed to a law, it tends to not be followed.  Especially when it’s viewed as “big-city” politicians (in this case, Sacramento) “forcing” their political views.

          This is how the state of Jefferson arises, as well as initiatives such as Proposition 13.  (With the state’s housing “mandates” in the crosshairs, as well.)

          and then forcibly escorted out of the meeting by security.

          Honestly, I was hoping he’d be in handcuffs on his way out.  I’m disappointed.

          https://www.google.com/search?q=tony+thurmond+forcibly+removed+vide&rlz=1C1CHBF_enUS909US909&oq=ton&gs_lcrp=EgZjaHJvbWUqBggAEEUYOzIGCAAQRRg7MgYIARBFGDkyBAgCEAYyBggDECMYJzIJCAQQLhhDGIoFMgYIBRBFGDwyBggGEEUYPTIGCAcQRRg90gEIMTMzOGowajeoAgCwAgA&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8#fpstate=ive&vld=cid:321668a3,vid:05gpWg6pNhg

          Chino, CA – State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was invited by students and traveled to Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) on Thursday, July 20, to speak against a policy before the board that would out an LGBTQ+ student to their parents even if the student is not yet ready to share that information. Students had reached out to the Superintendent to request help due to feeling bullied and mistreated.

          This citation “switches” between “the student”, and “students”. Which is it?

          Not for a minute do I believe that the superintendent’s “involvement” had anything to do with an “invitation” from a student or anyone else. Now, that’s not to say that he “shouldn’t” have done so, regardless.

          I tend to think that parents are “over-reacting” regarding this issue, but it’s hard to tell. But it’s not just this “one” issue that parents have been objecting to (nationwide), recently.

        3. Walter Shwe

          That’s true of any law, but it doesn’t make it just and right in many circumstances.

          If you don’t like a law, change it rather than complaining about it.

        4. Keith Olsen

          If you don’t like a law, change it rather than complaining about it.

          I think that’s what the Chino parents and school board did yesterday.

        5. Ron Glick

          The problem began when the chairwoman of the board responded  to Thumond’s public comment with a personal attack from the dais. If, as Thurmond pointed out after the meeting, she had simply said thank you, next, that would have been the end of it. If you believe that this was a political stunt for attention by Thurmond then the chairwoman fell right into his set up.

          Not only that I expect the the full force of the State to come down on this district just like it did on that Harvey Milk insanity in, where was it. Temecula.

  3. Ron Oertel

    Superintendent Thurmond noted that while some parents and guardians are advocates and allies, not all are or ever will be.

    Think about what the superintendent is actually stating, here.

    And all of the ramifications.

    1. Don Shor

      Superintendent Thurmond noted that while some parents and guardians are advocates and allies, not all are or ever will be.

      Think about what the superintendent is actually stating, here.

      And all of the ramifications.

      The superintendent’s comment is completely accurate.

      1. Ron Oertel

        The superintendent’s comment is completely accurate.

        He has, in effect, judged large numbers of parents to be “unfit parents” regarding their own children.  In contrast to officials like himself.

        Can’t imagine why that type of view might be “unpopular” among those he deems to be pariahs, who can’t be trusted around their own kids.

        According to this view, perhaps the law needs to be strengthened, and perhaps put these kids in foster homes to ensure that their own parents don’t “cause” their suicide.

        I’d certainly “trust” the school system to “care” more about other people’s kids, then their own parents do. Wouldn’t you?

        After all, they do such a “great job” in the first place regarding skills they actually need to function.

        1. Ron Oertel

          You have a habit of simply “discounting” observations, without providing any reason whatsoever.

          This is not “unlike” how state officials are handling this. Essentially, claiming that “they know better” than the parents of these kids.

          Takes a lot of (let’s just say “confidence”) to put forth non-arguments like that.

          Especially given how screwed-up so many school districts are in the first place.

          Threatening the board, parents, etc. is not a way to win them over. It’s a way to create enemies out of the folks they’re supposed to be “serving”.

          I’m seeing similarities regarding how state officials (some of the same ones) are threatening cities and residents therein, regarding housing mandates.

          Don’t you constantly question the police and DAs, regarding this type of “follow orders” type of approach? And yet, you have “no problem” when these state politicians attempt the same thing?

        2. Don Shor

          He has, in effect, judged large numbers of parents to be “unfit parents” regarding their own children

          He did not evaluate whether there are “large numbers of parents” who are unfit.

          There are many home situations where it would not be safe or healthy for a trans adolescent to be outed to their parents or guardians.
          Attending school is required by law until you are 18, graduate, or become an emancipated minor.
          Schools are required to provide a safe learning environment.
          Trans youth are bullied, harassed, and subjected to much greater social pressures than other youth. It is the school’s responsibility to protect them from bullying and harassment.
          It is well documented that trans youth have very high rates of suicidal ideation, depression, social isolation, drug use, and risk-taking behaviors.
          Providing mental health resources can literally save lives. A good teacher can steer a troubled adolescent to resources. But for that to work, there has to be trust between the students and the counselors, and to some degree the teachers. It all has to happen in confidence, with privacy respected. These laws make that impossible. A student who cannot reveal their trans identity to their parent or guardian cannot consider utilizing the resources schools provide if there is risk from that information being revealed at home.
          We are talking about parents who beat their kids, throw them out of the house, or attempt to force them to “de-transition.”
          The simplest thing that can help is to have trusted adults in their lives that they can talk to. These policies take that safety net away.
          If you think all parents will act in the best interests of their teenagers, you’re wrong. Plain and simple. Most? Many? I don’t know. But all of us who have had teenagers and gotten to know their friends could give you examples of parents who ranged from being totally unfit, to well-meaning but uninformed, and many who would be driven by their own ideologies in ways that could lead to cause direct harm to their own offspring.
          For many trans youth, they simply don’t know how their parents will respond. They may have reasonable fears about it.
          The decision to come out to their parents is theirs and theirs alone.
          It’s private.
          It’s none of your business, or my business, what they’re saying to counselors or teachers.
          If they can socially transition at school, it can help minimize their distress, even build their confidence. But if they know their status must be revealed, they are less likely to seek help, or even just ask for the simple support of having a teacher call them by their preferred name and pronouns. They are more likely to end up in bad straits.
          Especially with respect to medical decisions, young adults and teenagers have a large degree of bodily autonomy and can, in fact, make decisions about their own medical care.
          Mental health care is a form of medical care. They have actual rights to privacy in that regard.

        3. Ron Oertel

          He has, in effect, judged large numbers of parents to be “unfit parents” regarding their own children. In contrast to officials like himself.

          There are many home situations where it would not be safe or healthy for a trans adolescent to be outed to their parents or guardians.

          Your second sentence is really just a restating of (my) first sentence.  What part are you “disagreeing” with?

          Schools are required to provide a safe learning environment.

          During my entire K-12 education, school (and its immediate surroundings) where never a “safe learning environment” (for white kids in particular).  I suspect this was even more true for white “males”.

          How about they start with that?

          Trans youth are bullied, harassed, and subjected to much greater social pressures than other youth. It is the school’s responsibility to protect them from bullying and harassment.

          Yeap – all those things occurred in school – and probably still do.

          It is well documented that trans youth have very high rates of suicidal ideation, depression, social isolation, drug use, and risk-taking behaviors.

          Probably not enough parental involvement in the first place.

          Providing mental health resources can literally save lives. A good teacher can steer a troubled adolescent to resources. But for that to work, there has to be trust between the students and the counselors, and to some degree the teachers. It all has to happen in confidence, with privacy respected. These laws make that impossible.

          I think I agree with this, overall.

          A student who cannot reveal their trans identity to their parent or guardian cannot consider utilizing the resources schools provide if there is risk from that information being revealed at home.

          Again, this is another way of saying that some parents are “unfit” to be parents.

          We are talking about parents who beat their kids, throw them out of the house, or attempt to force them to “de-transition.”

          See “unfit parents”, above.  To which the least of the problems is the kid’s “gender identity”.  Confusion regarding “gender identity” might be a symptom of a dysfunctional household in the first place.

          Though in my opinion (and probably in some of these parents’ opinion), “unfit parents” might include those who allow their own kids to “medically transition”. This is a very serious, life-changing decision, usually with irreversible consequences.

          The simplest thing that can help is to have trusted adults in their lives that they can talk to. These policies take that safety net away.

          Again, I think I agree with this assessment.

          If you think all parents will act in the best interests of their teenagers, you’re wrong. Plain and simple. Most? Many? I don’t know.

          Again, this speaks to a deeper problem than “gender identity” of a kid.

          But all of us who have had teenagers and gotten to know their friends could give you examples of parents who ranged from being totally unfit, to well-meaning but uninformed, and many who would be driven by their own ideologies in ways that could lead to cause direct harm to their own offspring.

          Some of these parents believe that the school system is encouraging behavior that is against their values (and is a direct threat to their own children), and that their kids are susceptible to such influence.  This is probably the key to understanding them.

          For many trans youth, they simply don’t know how their parents will respond. They may have reasonable fears about it.

          Truth be told, I’m one of the people who doesn’t fully “believe” in gender identity.  There does seem to be an exceedingly-small percentage of people for whom this is an actual issue.  But these parents (and others, including myself) believe that the (apparent) large increase in those identifying this way is due to societal issues (including what some perceive as “encouragement” in school systems).  I don’t know enough about the latter to make a judgement.

          The decision to come out to their parents is theirs and theirs alone.
          It’s private.

          Truth be told, they’re not going to be able to “hide” this from their parents for very long.  And doing so will probably add to their stress and isolation.

          School is not the place to find folks who deeply care about you.

          It’s none of your business, or my business, what they’re saying to counselors or teachers.

          It can become “society’s business” if/when youth seek medical transitions, paid for by government.  And then seek assistance to “change back”.

          If they can socially transition at school, it can help minimize their distress, even build their confidence.

          It would be great if schools could control bullying, racism and crime within their own system in the first place.

          But if they know their status must be revealed, they are less likely to seek help, or even just ask for the simple support of having a teacher call them by their preferred name and pronouns. They are more likely to end up in bad straits.

          Maybe, but the purpose of this “help” is not clear.  To ultimately tell their parents?  To seek out medical intervention?

          Especially with respect to medical decisions, young adults and teenagers have a large degree of bodily autonomy and can, in fact, make decisions about their own medical care.

          This sounds like a major concern, regarding pursuit of “gender-affirming health care” (as it’s called).  This is where it becomes a “societal concern”, as well.

          Mental health care is a form of medical care. They have actual rights to privacy in that regard.

          Agreed.  Now, I don’t know to what degree the school system is responsible for providing that.

           

  4. Hiram Jackson

    Tony Thurmond: “I ask – if I am forcibly removed from a public school board meeting as the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, how are everyday parents and students in Chino Valley Unified supposed to have their voices heard?”

    source

    1. Keith Olsen

      Just as Tony Thurmond’s voice was heard, step up to the mike and take your allotted time to speak.  The crowd at the meeting was overwhelmingly in support of the school board.

    2. Keith Olsen

      In fact Tony Thurmond himself stated when he began to speak, “I come before you as a parent tonight”.

      So, as a parent Tony Thurmond only gets the same amount of time to speak as any other parent present at the board meeting.

       

        1. Keith Olsen

          Yes I did, in fact I posted about the meeting yesterday before this morning’s article.  That crowd was almost totally backing the school board and their decision.

        2. Ron Oertel

          That crowd was almost totally backing the school board and their decision.

          True, dat.

          If the superintendent (or any other similar state official) shows up again, I wouldn’t be surprised if things escalate further.

          He’s there to dictate, not to “understand”.

          These people already hate what the state is doing.

          Personally, I don’t think that those in the school system should be “required” to tell parents this type of thing, as it puts them in a very uncomfortable position. Then again, I question the entire environment (at both school, and at “home”) which leads to this.

          However, I have yet to see actual statistics regarding how often this type of thing comes up in a district such as the one in question.

          Kids are not going to be able to hide their so-called “gender identity” from parents for very long, I would think. Unless perhaps they’re hiding dresses, makeup (or pants) in their school lockers. (I guess “pants” isn’t really a good example, is it?)

          Can’t help but think that schools will soon be providing “gender-affirming clothing” for kids, without parents’ knowledge. 🙂

      1. Walter Shwe

        That crowd was almost totally backing the school board and their decision.

        So what? State laws always trump mob rule and local school boards.

          1. David Greenwald

            I do think political polarization is going to increasingly be a big problem, particularly with the increased rural-urban divides even within states. I don’t know what the answer is going to ultimately have to be.

        1. Walter Shwe

          State laws aren’t always popular and the Governor has to use bullying tactics to enforce some of his extremist policies.

          Riddle me this. Why do conservatives persist with their extremist views? It’s not policies, it’s actually state laws.

          1. David Greenwald

            The problem is this: LGBTQ minors need a safe space with a trusted adult to be comfortable coming out and potentially receiving support. Some kids are not wanting for their parent to be the first adult they come out with. That doesn’t mean they have a *bad* parent. If you have a law or rule that mandates informing parents of certain things, it cuts off an avenue for students to come out to trusted adults. And that could be dangerous to the students. That’s the issue here.

          1. David Greenwald

            I personally think it is a bit extreme to require teachers or educators to inform parents with a student comes out to them. That does seem to be using a hammer to deal with a delicate situation and therefore I would argue it’s extreme.

        2. Keith Olsen

          I disagree, I think the term extremists should only be applied to members of the Proud Boys, KKK, ANTIFA and other such far left wing and right wing organizations, not to parents who are concerned about their children.

          1. David Greenwald

            That’s why it’s important to think about the issues I laid out in my initial response to you. You can be concerned about your kids and still be extremist in your remedies.

        3. Matt Williams

          Riddle me this. Why do conservatives persist with their extremist views? It’s not policies, it’s actually state laws

          .

          Walter, comments like the one above, appear to be designed to inflame rather than to inform.  That appears to be more often than not your modus operendi .  Do you think it would be possible to make your points without the inflammatory rhetoric?  I more often than not agree with your policy positions, but cringe when that message I support is delivered with a healthy dose of venom … often personal venom.

          Thank you for your consideration of this request.

        4. Walter Shwe

          Walter, comments like the one above, appear to be designed to inflame rather than to inform.  That appears to be more often than not your modus operendi .  Do you think it would be possible to make your points without the inflammatory rhetoric?  I more often than not agree with your policy positions, but cringe when that message I support is delivered with a healthy dose of venom … often personal venom.

          Keith Olson: State laws aren’t always popular and the Governor has to use bullying tactics to enforce some of his extremist policies.

          Keith was the one that accused Newsom of having extremist policies. The record is crystal clear that I didn’t bring up extremism until after Keith did. In addition, Keith personally attacked Newsom. How is Keith’s personal attack proper?

        5. Walter Shwe

          State laws aren’t always popular and the Governor has to use bullying tactics to enforce some of his extremist policies.

          Keith Olson purposely inflamed this entire discussion by falsely accusing the Governor of using bullying tactics “to enforce some of his extremist policies”. In doing so, he personally attacked Newsom.

        6. Walter Shwe

          State laws aren’t always popular and the Governor has to use bullying tactics to enforce some of his extremist policies.
          I disagree, I think the term extremists should only be applied to members of the Proud Boys, KKK, ANTIFA and other such far left wing and right wing organizations, not to parents who are concerned about their children.
           

          Then why did you accuse Newsom of having extremist policies? You can’t have it both ways Keith.

  5. Hiram Jackson

    It looks like the board president was being provocative in the matter, “You’re in Sacramento, proposing things that pervert children.”

    Thurmond had spoken for his allotted minute Thursday night before the board in San Bernardino County when he was signaled his time was up, a video of the meeting shows.

    As he stopped talking and walked away from the lectern, board President Sonja Shaw responded.

    “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, her voice rising. She also criticized Thurmond for campaigning last year for then-incumbent board member Christina Gagnier, whom Shaw defeated in November.

    “You walked for my opponent,” Shaw said. As she spoke, Thurmond walked back to the lectern.

    In an interview with EdSource on Friday, Thurmond said he returned to the lectern because Shaw was commenting directly to him, and he thought she wanted to engage in a discussion.

    Thurmond called for a “point of order,” but Shaw cut him off saying, “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, you are not going to blackmail us.”

    Thurmond tried to respond again, and Shaw called for a five-minute break” in the meeting and left the stage where board members were sitting.

    Thurmond was quickly encircled by four uniformed district security guards and walked off camera, the video shows, and left the meeting. He said in a tweet later Thursday that Shaw ordered his removal.

    source

    1. Matt Williams

      I believe, under Roberts Rules of Order and/or the Brown Act, the Board members are not allowed to respond to any public comment on a topic that is not on the publicly-noticed Agenda of the meeting.  Because of that, President Sonja Shaw was “out of order” when she responded to Superintendent Thurmond (unless the topic of his comment was on the Agenda).

      1. Hiram Jackson

        Matt:  I think this was an item that was appropriately noticed.  Although the board president has some latitude to say what she wants in that context, it is more typical of a board president to minimize that kind of commentary in order to focus on running the meeting efficiently, sort of like being an umpire.  By reacting as she did, I think she ultimately lost some control over the meeting.  Clearly she was triggered by Thurmond showing up.  My source link above gives some commentary in this area.

  6. Ron Glick

    Let’s simplify and generalize the issue here. This is what is known as outing. Letting people know the most personal and private details of another person’s life without permission. Defending this board policy is  defending outing.

  7. Kendra Smith

    “During my entire K-12 education, school (and its immediate surroundings) where never a “safe learning environment” (for white kids in particular).  I suspect this was even more true for white “males”.
    How about they start with that?”

    Will no one think of the white males in this country? /s

    How patently ridiculous.

    And he still denies that LGBTQ+ children are vulnerable to their parents.

    I really wish this country would dispense with the ridiculous notion that just because you have spawned a child that you: 1.) Have the information to effectively/adequately/compassionately raise that child and provide for their full range of needs (physical, emotional, mental, etc.); and 2.) That parents *own* their children and children don’t have any rights outside of what parents want to give them.

    Again, the public schools are the next best place to offer these children safety if their parents won’t allow them to live their *full* lives, even if they turn out to NOT be what their parents want them to be.

    And let’s get real. Chino is in a conservative area, so these children are statistically more likely to be subjected to right wing reactionary mentalities at home and not feel and/or be safe.

    Children KNOW when they aren’t safe around their parents. But it looks like the right wing extremists on this site fail to acknowledge that, and instead just double down on the cruelty and lack of compassion.

    They will howl to the contrary but their own words here say it all.

    1. Ron Oertel

      During my entire K-12 education, school (and its immediate surroundings) where never a “safe learning environment” (for white kids in particular).  I suspect this was even more true for white “males”.
      How about they start with that?”
      Will no one think of the white males in this country? /s
      How patently ridiculous.

      I find your comment beyond offensive, and it angers me viscerally.  I don’t say that lightly, and I’ve found folks like you who deny this to be essentially “supporters” of racist attacks via your denial of reality.  It’s beyond repugnant, and is a primary reason that it’s been allowed to continue.  Folks with your attitude and belief are both a menace and a threat, and bear responsibility regarding the reason that situation exists. Unfortunately, you are not alone.

      I’ve been attacked numerous times (both verbally, and physically) based upon my white skin color, sometimes right on school grounds, other times “near” school grounds – by students attending my school and/or their friends. These were “group” attacks against me. 

      Racial and gender slurs were specifically made by those engaging in the attacks.  I still bear the physical “scars” from one of those attacks. 

      I am not the only one who experienced this. 

      Comments such as yours are both clueless and dangerous.

      White males do not “dominate” the public school  system in many locales.  For that matter, “sheer numbers” do not equate to domination.  

      And he still denies that LGBTQ+ children are vulnerable to their parents.

      Not something I said.  But again, the state is claiming that those parents are “dangerous” to their own children.  How do you think this will “go over” with those parents?
      I
       

      1. Ron Oertel

        To put it more simply, Kendra – your comment regarding my own experience (as well as what I witnessed) is racist (and sexist), as well as purposefully-offensive. I hope that you’re not in any type of position of authority, where you can essentially force such views onto others.

        1. Ron Oertel

          Thanks.

          It’s not even the “victimization” that I’m reacting to on here.  It’s the denial of it – apparently because my skin color doesn’t fit the narrative.  I’ve run into this before (both on the blog, and in other venues).

          Not once did I ever witness “white kids” attacking anyone else due to their skin color.  It was CONSISTENTLY the other-way around.

          Again, not just impacting “me”.

          The school system itself usually reflects the community in which it serves.  With the truly wealthy/privileged either sending their kids to private school (as Newsom does), or leaving the system entirely.

          Leaving behind a dysfunctional system – even in relatively “wealthy” cities. Davis (and some other school districts) seems to be an exception regarding this. In other words, it appears to be a relatively well-functioning system, safe for most kids to attend. Thereby not requiring “private” schools (or flight to other cities for families).

          I suspect that some of the school districts on the east side of the valley are decent, as well as just about all of Marin’s school system (albeit the latter is also experiencing declining enrollment, no doubt). Again, this is a reflection of the communities, themselves.

          There’s a reason that inner-city schools have “trouble” attracting teachers, as well.

          But I can assure you that my experience has nothing to do with my views regarding “right-sizing” Davis’ school system, or with how I sometimes view self-interested school district employees.

           

        2. Ron Oertel

          I did, however, witness kids (of all skin colors) engaging in derogatory name-calling and harassment regarding homosexuality – whether or not the individual was actually “gay”.  (No students at that time publicly “identified” as gay or transgender in the schools I attended at least.) And at the time, I was probably just glad that it wasn’t directed at me, as I recall. I had enough “problems” just being white and male – and not particularly intimidating in others’ eyes, apparently. (Though when attacked by a group, that doesn’t matter so much.)

          As such, I think it’s great that schools are attempting to create a safer environment.  I don’t know how to reach parents who either can’t see that, or are afraid that their kids are being “encouraged” to question their sexual/gender identity.

          And frankly, there are still some who simply “oppose” homosexuality or transgenderism. There’s probably no way to reach those folks.

          For sure, it’s concerning when kids pursue medical transitions, especially if health care systems are incentivized to accommodate it. In my opinion, that’s the only “real” concern here – if systems ultimately encourage that.

          And again, I will admit that I don’t fully believe that our “gender” doesn’t match our “sex” (for most people, at least).

  8. Keith Olsen

    I found this article that shows what some of Tony Thurmond’s former staffers think of him and his culture at the CDE, a very interesting insight:

    Nine former state education officials said that morale is so low and turnover so high that CDE cannot efficiently operate as Thurmond allegedly humiliated and intimidated staff. The former officials once in Thurmond’s inner circle spoke to POLITICO on the condition of anonymity because they are still working in education and worried about retribution.
    Two of the former aides said that the department executive team was asked to proclaim aloud that they were “all in on Team Thurmond” at a meeting last year. Seven of the former top officials said that anyone who disagreed with Thurmond on policy matters or did anything he felt could hurt his public image was accused of being insubordinate or disrespectful.
    Some said working under him impacted their mental health. Three former employees compared it to being in an abusive relationship or having an abusive parent — where aides walked on eggshells and cried on the job. Former officials described hostile exchanges and three of them provided texts and video to POLITICO to corroborate incidents, but they did not want specifics published out of concern the details could identify them.
    “It’s not the California Department of Education. It’s Tony Thurmond’s campaign headquarters. It’s not about the students of California,” one former employee said.
    https://www.politico.com/states/california/story/2021/09/28/california-schools-chief-churns-through-top-aides-in-allegedly-toxic-workplace-1391461

      1. Ron Oertel

        Really?  You can’t see any parallels between how he reportedly treats those who aren’t on “Team Thurmond”, with his approach regarding the board and parents opposed to what he and the state is demanding?

        My guess is that (just as with housing), state “mandates” are ultimately not going to work very well. Folks have a tendency to rebel against “mandates” from the state – especially if it involves their own communities, their own children, etc.

        I see nothing but threats emanating from the state, these days. And the article that Keith posted supports that from this superintendent.

        And yet, you and others blame the board and parents, for their reaction.

        Parents aren’t “employees” of this guy, and aren’t going to be intimidated by him.

      2. Keith Olsen

        Other than throwing dirt on Thurmond, how is this article relevant to the issue at hand?

        You and many in the press are trying to portray Thurmond as a victim as far as how the school board meeting went.  This article shares some light into the character of Thurmond and how many people who dealt with him really felt about him.

        (Also note the article is two years old).

        Does a leopard ever change its spots?

         

        1. David Greenwald

          I’m sure he’s difficult to work for, a lot of public officials are including a lot of people you support. I don’t see how that has any bearing on the issue here.

        2. Ron Oertel

          Already explained – parents aren’t going to “obey” this guy, and neither are school boards who are supported by those parents.

          Truth be told, I wouldn’t be surprised if violence erupts if he keeps showing up to school board meetings, and also violating the time limit policy to speak. (I don’t think he will.) I’ve seen how heated some parents are regarding issues like this, and they already hate this guy and everything he represents.

          At this point, the state is better-off just challenging that particular policy legally.

          Parents and school boards already know that the policy violates the new state law. They don’t need this guy showing up to further anger them.

          1. David Greenwald

            “Already explained” – Temecula already backed down from state pressure.

        3. Ron Oertel

          Temecula was a different situation, and I wouldn’t be surprised if those books went right into the figurative garbage can.  Or maybe someone tears out all of the pages mentioning Harvey Milk.

          Ultimately, you can “bring a horse to water, but . . .”

          But ultimately, there’s only one way to fight the state (regarding mandates of any type), and that’s to join with other opponents.  You can’t take them on by yourself, though I suppose they could just say, “here – you run it, then” to the state.

          Keep in mind that I am not personally opposed to the book (though I haven’t read it), and I believe that the board’s policy regarding mandated notification should be struck down.

          I remmeber when Harvey Milk and George Moscone were murdered, the trial and its aftermath, etc. I do think this is an important part of history, though it’s not one I learned about in school. Although before my time, I also learned about Stonewall (outside of the school system).

          I also learned about Emmett Till outside of the school system.

          I personally don’t need the school system to tell me what I should “think” about such things, and (since I’m a human being) I have some interest in such issues anyway. Lots of PBS programs about this type of thing.

          I do believe that the state is vulnerable to legal challenges related to restrooms, locker rooms, and sports (in regard to the transgender issue).  Perhaps that’s what will ultimately be challenged. I do believe that parents and students have legitimate concerns regarding that issue.

           

           

      3. Ron Oertel

        This is a case where I do believe that the board’s policy needs to be challenged (legally, as needed), but that the state has not done a good job to address parents’ fears.

        And as I mentioned in the other article, parents and students have legitimate concerns regarding the other part of the new state law – requiring schools to accommodate transgender students’ “choice” regarding locker rooms, restrooms, sports, etc.  (This appears to be legally-vulnerable, to me.  And I sort of hope that parents and school boards get-together to take on the state, regarding that.)

        The entire issue is not easy to address – for any entity (or for individuals with a direct stake).

        But for sure, some of the hostility demonstrated (even on this blog) isn’t going to make the situation “better”. And that includes demonizing parents.

         

  9. Ron Oertel

    I personally don’t need the school system to tell me what I should “think” about such things,

    I will tell you that I would probably not be “cooperative” regarding some of the “equity lessons” that I’ve seen examples of (in regard to both schools and employers).

    From what I can tell, these people are usually not interested in an honest dialogue.  And from what I can see, the state is adopting the same dictatorial approach.

    I’m convinced that one college professor “downgraded” one of my papers that was indirectly related to “racial equity”, decades ago.  He simply didn’t like what I had to say, despite my pointing out specific examples in the book he assigned to the class.  This is not something I’ll ever forget, as I knew that I had submitted a well-supported, well-written report.

    A few years later (at a different college) I also confronted another professor directly (in private) regarding the views she was espousing in the classroom.  However, she (unexpectedly) reacted in a positive manner, and my grade did not suffer as a result.  She was not in denial regarding what she was doing.

    As such, I gained more respect for her, though I don’t recall if she toned down the presentation of her views.

    The problem is that (unless the professor is more-like my second example), no one else keeps these people in check. And your grade (or employment) can suffer, if you don’t go along with the “programming”.

    In some ways, this might also be true in regard to making Harvey Milk a “hero”, when he was also reportedly in a relationship with someone under the age of 18.

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