In a notable display of local control in support of fundamental parental rights, the Chino Valley Unified School Board stood its ground against the intrusion of California’s State Superintendent, Tony Thurmond, effectively advocating for their student body and their families. Amid the rising tension between state educational authorities and local school boards, this significant event heralds a powerful message: the voice of parents and local school boards will not be subdued.
In a gripping scene on Thursday, the school board chair, Sonja Shaw, silenced Thurmond’s overlong tirade by cutting off his microphone when he surpassed the one-minute speaking limit. When Thurmond failed to relinquish the podium, local law enforcement intervened, escorting the state superintendent from the building, asserting the board’s control and autonomy in the face of state-level opposition.
🚨 California parents are waking up and not tolerating what Sacramento is forcing!
Tony Thurmond shows up and speaks at a local school board meeting in Chino Valley, CA (an almost 11 hour drive from Sacramento) and tries to speak beyond his limit…see what happened: https://t.co/i4mz8RNo1j
— Kelly S. (@kellyske) July 21, 2023
This incident was more than just a dramatic interlude. It demonstrated the school board’s audacity to resist the state’s escalating attempts to undermine local authority and parental rights. Thurmond’s visit was no friendly affair; he had come to oppose the board’s resolution requiring parent notification if their children began a gender transition at school. This measure affirms the right of parents to have a say in their child’s education and well-being.
Chino Valley has joined a growing list of Southern California school boards that refuse to comply with the state’s increasingly intrusive educational policies, which have sparked widespread backlash from parents and community leaders. As Jonathan Zachreson, the founder of Reopen California Schools, noted, parents are resorting to local solutions to combat what they see as an “overreaching state government on public education issues.”
In response, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and his Democratic allies are resorting to legislation, threats and hefty fines. Yet, these punitive measures have only galvanized local leaders like Shaw, who insist they cannot be bullied or blackmailed into compliance.
Shaw’s resolve is echoed by many parents and educators who feel their trust in the state government has been eroded. These feelings stem from concerns about the well-being of their children, the perceived dangers of state policy, and the lack of respect for parental rights. The enthusiasm in Shaw’s voice as she defends her community’s rights encapsulates the sentiment of many, “We’re going to safeguard parental rights. That is a constitutional right.”
Unfortunately, this battle for control and respect of parental rights has been fraught with charges of hate and intolerance from state officials like Newsom, who label parental opposition as an “organized campaign of hate.” Such inflammatory statements do little to foster meaningful dialogue or address the root concerns of parents, teachers, and school boards, who feel that their voices are being systematically silenced.