Lance Christensen's Statement on Chino Valley USD Parental Notification Policy

Good evening board president, trustees and superintendent. My name is Lance Christensen, Vice President of the California Policy Center.

Adults – who should know better – telling kids to keep secrets from their parents, is why we’re here tonight. Regardless of my personal feelings, I’m not here to comment on the probity of children transitioning to anything. We are only here to talk about honesty being the best policy.

For over a century, the United States Supreme Court has consistently ruled that parents, not schools, possess the fundamental right to raise their children and to direct activities and make decisions regarding the child’s care and to control their education, health, and religion. This constellation of parental interests is “essential” and parental rights are among the “basic civil rights of man.”

Even so, children do not – I repeat – do not have a right to privacy from their parents.

This year, Assemblyman Bill Essayli tried to introduce a simple parental notification bill, AB 1314, to clear up any confusion perpetuated by education officials who do not have our children’s best interest at heart. Unfortunately, the Assembly Education Committee chair refused to have a hearing or a vote on the bill.

From all the rhetoric and propaganda among the anti-family forces here tonight, one could be forgiven for not knowing just how clear Education Code Sections 51100 and 51101 are in endorsing a healthy and open collaboration between family and schools at all grade levels. Further, the code is clear that parents have the right “to be informed of their child’s progress in school” and “have access to the school records of their child.”

Nowhere does current state law require teachers and administrators to openly lie to parents. Why the Superintendent of Public Instruction continues on his crusade to intentionally misrepresent the law and shamelessly bully this board is beyond me.

The relationship between teacher and parent is sacrosanct. Secrecy not only erodes trust between parents and teachers but creates a schism among teachers who find it reprehensible to lie to their employers if forced to violate their conscience. Providing for the secret transitioning of children to a new gender identity, complete with new names, pronouns and clothing – without notifying parents – is unethical. It also leaves students in a moral quandary to grapple with whom they should trust.

This board is to be commended for pro-actively endorsing policies that strengthen and validate legal and constitutional parental notification procedures.

As such, I support this parental notification policy and stand ready to help the school board better communicate with parents.

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