Parents, where do you draw the line?
Parents, where do you draw the line?
The state legislature is aggressively shepherding anti-parent bills through its chambers that erode parental authority in ways that would seem unimaginable only a few years ago. Under the banner of “affirming transgender children,” legislators are pushing bills that upend parental rights in frightening ways and pose serious risks to vulnerable kids.
The unintended consequences of the following three bills would be disastrous for families as well as the children the bills are supposedly meant to protect.
Assembly Bill 665 by Assemblywoman Wendy Carrillo (D-Los Angeles) lowers the threshold for mental health counselors to provide them unfettered control over minors. It would allow children as young as 12 years old to choose to move out of their family home and into state-run residential shelter services without meeting the legal standards of abuse or danger currently in place.
This bill is a recipe for disaster. It affords parents no real due process before their child is removed from their home on vague criteria that is undefined in the bill. It also opens the door to children being exploited by activists who may encourage kids to leave home if their parents don’t “affirm” their gender transition to enter a state system minors don’t have the capacity to adequately navigate on their own.
Assembly Bill 957 by Assemblywoman Lori Wilson (D-Suisun City) would also put kids at risk, but this time during custody battles. The bill would require a judge to consider a parent’s affirmation of the child’s gender identity in any custody dispute. If passed, the law could be used to intimidate parents into consenting to their child receiving puberty blockers or radical gender-altering surgeries as a condition of having visitation or custody rights. It will certainly encourage some parents to push their children to “transition” under false pretenses to secure a favorable custody order.
Senate Bill 407 by Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) would require foster parents to affirm the gender transition of children in their care, which could dramatically reduce care options for vulnerable foster youth. Grandparents are often the go-to guardians when parents are unable to parent due to drug and mental health problems. SB 407 could be used to deny grandparents the opportunity to raise their grandchild if they object to them changing genders.
The bill could also disqualify many religious foster families if they don’t rubber-stamp a child’s gender change. Instead, troubled kids could be put in foster care situations where they may face intense pressure to continue their gender transition.
Another trio of bills making their way through the legislature take aim at parents’ rights when it comes to their child’s education. These bills are intended to take over local school boards and shut down dissent.
Assembly Bill 1078 by Assemblyman Corey Jackson (D-Perris) was introduced to squash pushback from parents and newly-elected parent school board members who oppose age-inappropriate, sexually explicit books and materials in California classrooms.
Jackson’s bill would strip school boards’ longstanding authority over the curricula used in their local district, and put Sacramento bureaucrats in charge of classroom materials statewide.
Jackson is using the Left’s “book ban” hoax to push his bill, but as shown in the not-to-be-missed report released this week by the Educational Freedom Institute, “The Book Ban Mirage,” the manufactured “book-banning crisis” narrative is pure fiction.
(If you want to see for yourself what parents don’t want in their child’s classroom, you can see the highlights of the sexually explicit books in the report’s Appendix, but don’t say we didn’t warn you. It is shocking, by any standard, that anyone would suggest parents should sit down and shut up about these books being promoted in public schools.)
Governor Gavin Newsom is also using AB 1078 as a pretext to bully Temecula Valley Unified School District to adopt a book they did not want in their curriculum. He’s threatening to fine the school board $1.5 million dollars and then order the book for the district despite the objections of the board.
Assembly Bill 1352 by Assemblywoman Mia Bonta (D-Oakland) would further polarize school boards. The bill would allow a duly elected school board member to be removed from office if he or she disagrees with the votes of teachers union-backed board members. Bonta’s bill is designed to eject school board members who support parental rights or oppose politicized classroom curricula.
Senate Bill 596 by Senator Anthony Portantino (D–Burbank) threatens parents with criminal prosecution for speaking out against school policies, stripping parents of their First Amendment rights. The bill provides that any person who subjects a school employee to “threats” or “harassment” after school hours or outside of school — including on social media — could be found guilty of a misdemeanor. The bill is overly broad and vague. It goes so far as to define “harassment” as communication that “seriously alarms” or “annoys” the person “that serves no legitimate purpose.”
To sum up, instead of California elected officials listening to parent concerns about inappropriate sexualized content in schools, legislators — bought and paid for by the state’s teachers unions — are proposing to take over local school boards, fire school board members who vote against the state’s agenda, and prosecute protesting parents.
What can you do to help stop the legislature’s attack on parents?
For starters, you can ask your legislator to vote NO on these bills. It only takes a few minutes using California Policy Center’s Take Action tool to email your local representative.
Even more effective, you can organize a group of parents to visit your legislator at their district office over the legislature’s summer recess between now and August 14. This is a very powerful way to make an impact, especially for the bill authors listed above. Be sure to schedule an appointment to meet with your legislator in person or their district director.
Finally, encourage your local school board to adopt a Parental Rights Policy to protect parents and children in your school district. CPC has joined with parental rights groups statewide to develop a policy that can be customized for any school board. You can learn more about the policy and find a sample draft at caparentalrights.com.
What is not fought for is ceded. Are you ready to hold the line?