Bomb Threat Called into Davis Library – Some Blame Moms for Liberty Event

By David M. Greenwald
Executive Editor

Davis, CA – The Davis library on Monday afternoon was evacuated, and adjacent facilities at North Davis Elementary, St. James and the Vets Memorial were also, due to a reported bomb threat to the library.

Juan Ceja, Yolo County PIO, told the Vanguard that the threat was received by local TV station Fox 40 and communicated to the police.  The area remained cordoned off until the Yolo County Sheriff’s Office deemed it clear.

Officials were aware of the Moms for Liberty event on Sunday, but uncertain about any direct link between the event—which was cancelled by library staff—and the bomb threat.

According to a Sunday email from Beth Bourne to local media, Moms for Liberty hosted a forum “on fair and safe sport for girls.”

She explained, “We will hear from national experts on the climate of girls’ sports in the USA and CA, as well as the potential emotional and psychological impact to girl athletes as prescribed in the CIF ‘Gender Inclusivity’ Toolkit.”

Our goal, the email explained, “for this forum is find a solution that allows all athletes an opportunity to participate in sports while still protecting girls’ rights to fair and safe sports.”

But the event drew a good amount of opposition as well.

Anoosh Jorjorian, one of the leaders for LGBTQ+ rights locally, told the Vanguard that one of the speakers, Sophia Lorey, “refused to refer to transwomen athletes as women and insisted on calling them biological men or biological males.”

At this point one of the members of public asked “are you going to misgender people throughout this discussion?”

Lorey, Jorjorian explained, “began to argue with him that trans women are not women, at which point Scott Love representing the library said that misgendering went, goes against the library’s code of conduct.”

At this point it became heated and Love apparently made the decision to clear the room and end the event which reportedly continued outside on the field.

The story then went to right wing media nationally.

The Washington Examiner, for instance, reported that speaker Sophia Lorey, a former athlete, spoke about “how young girls could not have the same dreams and aspirations she had growing up,” “as long as men are allowed to compete in women’s sports.”

“The librarian then again told me to leave so I directly said why am I being asked to leave, and he told me ‘Because you are misgendering, you were talking about men in women sports,'” Lorey wrote on X (Twitter).  “The group putting on the event had the conference room reserved at the public library to host the event at Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library.”

Perhaps more incendiary was commentary by Riley Gaines on X.

“This is ridiculous, but not shocking…a female athlete silenced for calling a spade a spade,” Gaines Tweeted.  “They won’t even engage in a civil conversation. Props to this gal for sticking her ground.”

She added, “Do we know the librarians name and/or phone number? We need silent majority to do its thing” and later posted the number to the library itself along with a video that received more than 1.3 million views and the tweet itself was liked 17,000 times with nearly 4000 reposts (used to be retweets).

Did this incident heavily broadcast on social media lead to the bomb threat?

“We cannot say for sure right now that today’s bomb threat was linked to the right-wing coverage,” Jorjorian told the Vanguard.

But Jorjorian noted, “The right wing media coverage is basically an outrage machine. That’s its entire purpose. So their intention is to incite outrage and to make it appear that groups like Moms for Liberty are victims in these situations.”

Jorjorian added, “Whereas, of course, the reality on the ground, within the communities where these events happen, we know that that is a complete misrepresentation and we have seen again and again how these situations play out.”

Jorjorian noted, “We have seen since 2016 a repeated pattern where people or institutions or businesses are called out on right-wing media and threats of violence and in some cases actual violence follow.”

Others see this as a matter of free speech at a public facility where the facility shut down the event.

However, Jorjorian noted, “Moms for Liberty was fully informed of what the code of conduct requires.”  They added, “There were handouts of the library’s code of conduct in that room.”

Moreover, Jorjorian noted, Moms for Liberty was warned about the library’s policy.

The Vanguard reached out to Beth Bourne for a comment through a variety of channels but did not receive a message back at the time of publication.

However, prior to the event, Bourne said, “Female athletes and their families are not allowed to voice their concerns about male participation in female sports categories because this is considered ‘bullying behavior,’ and speaking on their own behalf would result in disciplinary action that would hinder their ability to compete at all.

“It is for this reasons that these matters must be discussed in an open environment by those who are able to voice an opinion without penalty and speak on behalf of those who are being silenced.”

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

Related posts

46 Comments

  1. Sharla Cheney

    Beth Bourne commented extensively on her Facebook page, gleefully posting news coverage from FOX News, Washington Examiner, OutKick.com (owned by FOX News) and Yahoo (picked up the same FOX News story) and Twitter – all essentially the same story.  The story was spread by Riley Gaines – a women’s sports advocate who works for OutKick.com and is a friend of the speaker,

    The speaker, Sophia Lorey, was not mentioned on the flyers promoting the event until she was added at the last minute. She is referred to as a “former college soccer player.” She is actually the Outreach Coordinator for the California Family Council, a right-wing religious organization that tracks California legislation, who played soccer in college.  Board members also serve in leadership positions with evangelical Christian ministries and the Family Research Council Action.  So this event was misrepresented as a community discussion about transgender women and competitive sports, but Sophia started the event by refusing to even acknowledge the existence of transgender girls or women. This is the message from the California Family Council that is pushing for legislation to bar California teachers from discussing gender at all (along with other efforts such as supporting the prosecution of women who travel to California for abortions from states where they are banned, a religious right to discriminate against LGBTQI customers, etc.)

    Sophia appears to have contacted her friend, Riley Gaines, at FOX and painted the incident first as violating her freedom of speech. This has then twisted into an accusation of bullying BY A MAN and an example of the oppression of patriarchy.  The name of the Librarian, location and phone numbers were posted and a few hours later there is a hate speech filled bomb threat. Retaliation completed.

    Beth claims in her Facebook posts that she was unaware of any rule or policy governing the use of the space at the library, even though the Librarian made sure to go over it with the group before the event started.

    What could have been an interesting discussion about the challenges of inclusive policies regarding athletes and gender identity fell apart by Beth bring in a right-wing anti-LGBTQI speakers that refused to hear or understand the audience they are speaking in front of. Currently, CIF policies allow students to compete on sports teams according to their gender. Beth, Chair of the Moms for Liberty -Yolo Chapter, plans to protest this at upcoming meetings in Sacramento.

    1. Walter Shwe

      I think Beth intentionally violated library policy so that she could then spread their Nazi message of hate far and wide and garner additional publicity.

  2. Eleanora Glick

    Moms for Liberty currently is refusing to take their videos down which involve my friend who is a minor. He asked them multiple times not to record him and he was ignored. The video is now on Fox News and has been viewed multiple times. This video was recorded without my friend’s consent and is now being viewed by everyone.

    Also, it’s possible to talk about the issues of trans people in sports without being rude. You don’t have to misgender and be rude about them to get a point across. You don’t have to be incendiary or inflammatory with your rhetoric and your words. You can still treat them as human beings. You can still treat them with respect and dignity.

    I am worried because North Davis is right next to the our library. Luckily, school had not started the day of the bomb threat, but we don’t know if there could be other threats or attacks. The kids there deserve safety, not the worry that they could be attacked just for being close to the library. They deserve the utmost safety.

    Our library is currently being bombarded with hatred, negative reviews from people who have never been to our library, harassing the librarian who stood up to protect people and harassing those who were protesting. We need to stand up for what is right. Whether you agree or disagree with the rhetoric spread by Moms for Liberty, I think that we can agree that our library does not deserve to be attacked for this.

  3. Ron Oertel

    Let me see if I’m understanding this correctly.

    There was a bomb threat, and folks are blaming the event itself, rather than those making the threat?

    The position being that it’s “o.k.” (and perhaps even “desirable”) to make bomb threats, if you don’t like the event or its message?

    And those making this type of argument are not thugs, themselves?

      1. Ron Oertel

        The title of your article initially caused me to arrive at a different conclusion.

        But it appears (from the article itself) that you cannot definitively arrive at a conclusion.

        Officials were aware of the Moms for Liberty event on Sunday, but uncertain about any direct link between the event—which was cancelled by library staff—and the bomb threat.

        In looking at the article more carefully, however, I wouldn’t be surprised if your belief is accurate.

         

    1. Sharla Cheney

      The bomb threat was full of hate speech directed at the Library and its staff, likely prompted by the anti-trans spin by Sophia Lorey to right wing media outlets that a man shut her down and violated her freedom of speech.

      I bet you believe that Donald Trump merely had a benign little chat with his supporters on the mall that day on January 6th.

  4. Ron Oertel

    “The librarian then again told me to leave so I directly said why am I being asked to leave, and he told me ‘Because you are misgendering, you were talking about men in women sports,’” Lorey wrote on X (Twitter).  “The group putting on the event had the conference room reserved at the public library to host the event at Mary L. Stephens Davis Branch Library.”
    Lorey, Jorjorian explained, “began to argue with him that trans women are not women, at which point Scott Love representing the library said that misgendering went, goes against the library’s code of conduct.”

    The library’s “code of conduct” sounds illegal.  Has the ACLU looked into this?  (Yes, I’m asking that in a serious manner despite the ACLU’s direction lately.)

     

     

    1. Keith Olsen

      So the subject of the event was literally a discussion on men competing in women’s sports but the speakers can’t address the men as being men?

      How do the people who are against this want the speakers to address this?

      Because if you can only say women competing in women’s sports it kind of loses its meaning.

      1. Ron Oertel

        Matt Walsh has essentially built (or more accurately, expanded) his career by asking, “what is a woman”?

        (Of course, he could also ask, “what is a man”?)

        David:  Might want to look at Taking Offense v. State of California

        I’m probably not going to look into that.  Would you care to provide a summary, and how you think it might relate to the library’s policy?

  5. Matt Williams

    There is a broad spectrum of opinions on the topic “fair and safe sport for girls.”  Hosting a community forum on that topic made/makes a lot of sense.  However, it is impossible to actually have a forum if the participants can’t respectfully acknowledge the opinions of the other participants.  Acknowledgement does not mean agreement, but the actions of the speaker clearly showed no willingness whatsoever to provide any acknowledgement to any view other than her own.  Bottom-line, it definitely appears that she and her colleagues were spoiling for a fight … and ideally a newsworthy fight.  They got what they wanted.

    The bomb threat appears to also be planned for its newsworthiness.  Once you have the spotlight, it is a good idea to keep it.

  6. Keith Olsen

     Hosting a community forum on that topic made/makes a lot of sense.  However, it is impossible to actually have a forum if the participants can’t respectfully acknowledge the opinions of the other participants.  Acknowledgement does not mean agreement, but the actions of the speaker clearly showed no willingness whatsoever to provide any acknowledgement to any view other than her own.  Bottom-line, it definitely appears that she and her colleagues were spoiling for a fight … and ideally a newsworthy fight.  They got what they wanted.

    This statement can also be applied to those who came to the event on the opposite side of the issue.

    It works both ways.

  7. Keith Olsen

    Everyone should also keep in mind that there’s a possibility that this was a false flag threat.

    We won’t know until we know, if that even ever happens.

        1. Keith Olsen

          I’ve since figured it. However, given the content of the message, it seems very unlikely.

          What, that the caller made it sound like it was coming from a crazed extremist?

          As I said, we don’t know yet and we may never know.

          1. David Greenwald

            The message was actually very specific. The police won’t turn over the message as there is an active investigation but it was relayed to me the content of it. I wouldn’t be surprised if they figure out who sent it. Also the police chief told me that the library has apparently changed their phone number after it was tweeted out yesterday morning.

  8. Keith Olsen

    David, can you cite the exact law that states that the term B. M. can’t be used in public libraries?

    I looked at the case you referenced but nowhere could I find that it stated that.

    Please supply a link to the state law.

    1. Keith Olsen

      Sharla, I still don’t see it.

      Can you please point me to the state law that says the term B. M. (I’d spell it out but the Vanguard would delete my comment) can’t be used in a public library.

        1. Ron Oertel

          So the question is, who/how did someone at the library make that determination?

          And more importantly, would the First Amendment allow them to do so in the first place.

        2. Ron Oertel

          I think I found the answer in the Enterprise:

          the library’s regional manager, Scott Love,

          So, this isn’t some low-level library employee.  But apparently, didn’t even understand the library’s own code of conduct, nor did he even consider how his actions might impact the right to free speech in a public facility.

          Given the position of this individual, this is actually quite serious – and indicates a systemic problem.

          https://www.davisenterprise.com/news/davis-library-evacuated-after-bomb-threat/article_2c27d2a8-407e-11ee-be0a-6f233245f5e3.html

  9. Sharla Cheney

    I think that what is missing is what happened before the Librarian’s warning. What I read was that the speaker said something like “girls cannot experience the dream as long as men are allowed to play in girls sports.”  Someone in the audience asked if they were going to misgender people through the entire presentation?  The speaker then repeated her statement except substituted “biological males.”  The audience reacted saying that didn’t help and an argument ensued. The Librarian spoke and pointed out that officially transgender women were considered women under State law and to be respectful.  The speaker insisted on continuing with “biological male” (saying that men were being allowed to play on girls high school teams and sports). Further arguing with raised voices and calls to call the police.  The Librarian then asked that the speaker leave the Library. He never raised his voice.  I believe he used his only tool to try to remove the disruptive problem from the space so the forum could continue. But then the threats of a lawsuit and a demand for him to leave happened and that ended the event at the Library.

    1. Ron Oertel

      The Librarian spoke and pointed out that officially transgender women were considered women under State law and to be respectful.  The speaker insisted on continuing with “biological male” (saying that men were being allowed to play on girls high school teams and sports).

      I don’t believe that state law (whatever it actually states) can prevent members of the public from using the phrase “biological male” in a public setting.

      The Enterprise seems to report what actually happened in a relatively unbiased manner, including actual quotes.  The actions threatened in the bolded text do not appear to be supported by law:

      This is a library. I don’t want any transgender females being called males in sporting events with females,” Love said. “If that happens, it’s not following our code of conduct and we will ask the person to leave immediately.” 

      Lorey then continued speaking about her soccer-playing experience, saying that “current 10-year-old girls cannot live out the same dream (I had) as long as men are allowed to compete in women’s sports.”

      Audience members interjected again, after which Lorey changed her phrasing to “biological men.” At that point, Love delivered another warning about the library’s code of conduct. 

      When Lorey repeated the phrase, Love asked her to leave “or we’ll shut the entire program down. …You were misgendering.” 

      https://www.davisenterprise.com/news/davis-library-evacuated-after-bomb-threat/article_2c27d2a8-407e-11ee-be0a-6f233245f5e3.html

      In my opinion, the librarian is exposing the library system itself to legal challenges.  It would be interesting to know if upper management (beyond himself) supports what he did.

       

       

  10. Keith Olsen

    SacBee article about the Davis Library free speech argument, here’s an interesting statement in the comment section that will make you think:

    They’ve literally made telling the truth a crime.

    So far, mostly a social crime with huge consequences impacting livelihood and safety, etc – but they are busily working on making it actually a crime in law.

    Let that sink and then get busy.
     

    https://news.yahoo.com/davis-public-library-speaker-misgendered-004251755.html?fr=sycsrp_catchall

  11. Keith Olsen

    California lawyer Julie Hamill says no such law exists in the State of California.  If she’s right could this lead to a free speech lawsuit?

    California lawyer Julie Hamill addresses this supposed “law.” It doesn’t exist in the state of California. While the California legislature tried to insert this type of language into a trans rights bill in 2021, the California Third District Court of Appeals struck it down on First Amendment grounds. While local and private institutions may attempt to enact such so-called rules (and have), an institution that operates on public tax dollars and that is supposed to be viewpoint neutral has no basis for such an action.

    https://redstate.com/jenniferoo/2023/08/21/davis-ca-library-tramples-on-first-amendment-rights-for-misgendering-n2162857

     

  12. Ron Glick

    Are there any trans kids playing sports in DJUSD? In Yolo County? At UCD? Its kind of a standing issue in my mind. There seems to be an incredible amount of outrage over  an issue that in reality is impacting how many people? And threats of violence (i.e. bomb threats) at the public library. Seriously? Whoever did it should be ashamed of themselves. People need to start acting like civilized individuals and learn how to agree or disagree without being disagreeable.

    1. Matt Williams

      Ron, while I personally agree with you 100%, I also realize that both you and I are looking at this issue and it’s related actions logically.  We are thinking about it and coming to a conclusion that appears to us, after that analysis, to have the greatest good for the greatest number of people in our society as a whole.  That thought process produces questions like the ones you asked, “Are there any trans kids playing sports in DJUSD? In Yolo County? At UCD?”

      But logical questions like those don’t figure into the minds of the the organizers of this event.  They aren’t following a thinking process.  Their consideration of this issue is focused on and all about feelings.  They also do not care about the greatest good for the greatest number of people.  They only care about themselves and their own personal comfort.  They want to make anything that makes them uncomfortable go away.

      1. Keith Olsen

        They want to make anything that makes them uncomfortable go away.

        Are you referring to the audience that complained about the speakers not using their preferred terms for trans athletes?

        1. Matt Williams

          No, but that is not a surprising interpretation.  I was referring to the willful choice by the speaker(s) to be unwilling to utter the words “transgender women” or “trans women.”

          To put that into context, how do you feel if someone talking to you or interacting with you is unwilling to utter the words “Keith Olsen,” but instead refers to you as “ex-convict”?

          The reaction of the members of the audience certainly could have been more restrained, but there is a huge difference between someone who is being proactively confrontational and someone who is reacting to the fact that they are being unnecessarily confronted.

          Which brings me to an important question, “Why do you think the speaker(s) actions of confrontation are necessary?”

  13. Ron Glick

    “They only care about themselves and their own personal comfort.  They want to make anything that makes them uncomfortable go away.”

    I don’t know Matt. I know some of these people and I believe they are sincere even if at times anger and outrage gets in the way of the message they are trying to communicate. I do worry about my friends being exploited by outside groups with an agenda that doesn’t have the best interests of this community at heart.

    1. Matt Williams

      What are they sincere about Ron?  I ask to try and understand the logic of their thinking and/or the source of the feelings that are driving their proactive actions.

Leave a Reply

X Close

Newsletter Sign-Up

X Close

Monthly Subscriber Sign-Up

Enter the maximum amount you want to pay each month
$ USD
Sign up for