Last month, the board of the Chino Valley Unified School District passed a policy giving parents more concrete rights in their kids' schools. Soon after, the Murrieta Valley Unified School District did likewise. Both policies require that the districts notify parents when their child requests to be identified or treated as a gender different from their biological sex, wants to use opposite-sex facilities, or suspects their child is suicidal.
Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, applauds them and encourages parents to continue pushing back.
"They need to lay claim to their rights and know what their rights are," he says, "The biggest voice that's heard is on Election Day, and that involves parents choosing to run for school board positions and voters getting behind those parents who can make a real difference."
Meanwhile, SB 596 is advancing through the state legislature. If passed, "any parent, guardian, or other person" deemed to cause "substantial disorder" at any public or charter school board meeting will face criminal misdemeanor charges.
Democratic state Senator Anthony Portantino introduced the measure in February to "protect" school employees from facing backlash for teaching about gender identity, sexual orientation, and Pride month, a press release states.
"It's a cheap attempt to shamelessly attack parents, intimidate parents so that they will not voice their objections to outrageous legislation," Dacus argues.
Similarly, AB 1078, which would require school boards to have a supermajority if they wish to restrict a book from its library or classrooms, has been called a "dangerous" attempt to take away "the voice of the community."
The PJI president commends parental rights advocates for sounding the alarm against these measures.