State Official Escorted Out Of Heated School Board Meeting

California state superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond was kicked out of a board meeting Thursday after exceeding his allotted time to speak. Thurmond opposed district policy requiring teachers to inform parents of students who identify as transgender.

After several hours of debate, The Chino Valley Unified School District approved the policy. The new policy will require teachers to notify parents if their children begin using names or pronouns that don’t match their birth certificates. The same rule applies to students who wish to use the opposite sex’s bathroom at school.

Thurmond showed up to the meeting to address the school board. He stated, “I ask you to consider this, nearly half of students who identify as being LGBTQ+ are considering suicide.”

He adds, “The policy that you consider tonight not only may fall outside of the laws that respect privacy and safety for our students but may put our students at risk because they may not be in homes where they can be safe.”

His time ran out, and his mic was cut, but he continued to speak. Chino Valley school board president Sonja Shaw opposed Thurmond’s criticism of the policy. She said, “We’re here because of people like you.”

Despite Thurmond returning to the podium and wanting to respond to Shaw, she quickly rejected him, “No, this is not your meeting.” She added, “You will not bully us here in Chino.” The crowd in the room erupted in supportive cheers.

Thurmond did not remove himself from the podium when asked to do so. That’s when four security officers approached him and requested that he step away and leave. One of the officers had to take him by the arm before he finally relented and decided to walk out of the room.

Shaw said she had to remove him because he spoke more than the allotted time. She commented about Thurmond, “We think he is a danger to our students. He continues to push things that pervert children, and he continues to push out parents and bring in policies that create division between families.”

Community members and parents gathered and attended the board meeting to stand up for their individual beliefs. Parents have been suing schools over pronoun policies. One father who called out the board commented, “Anyone who wants to hide things from me about my little kids, you’re no friend of mine.”

Many held signs and wore shirts that expressed their stance on the gender transition policy. One sign said, “Queer Nation.” Others wore customized t-shirts with the words “Leave Our Kids Alone.”

Thurmond said he was invited to the meeting by students to speak out against “radical policies.” He said he went to the board meeting to stand up for LGBTQ+ students who feel these policies threatened their safety and tweeted that Shaw “verbally attacked” him. He later called the board “extremists.”

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