Leftists Try to Recall Conservative School Board Members Over Transgender Policy
The battle over transgender rights and parental involvement in schools continues to be a hot-button issue, with both sides passionately advocating for their positions. Now the issues have taken center stage in California, where two conservative school board members, Madison Miner and Rick Ledesma, who championed a measure to notify parents about transgender students, may face a recall effort by parents opposed to their policies. This recall effort marks a test of whether culture war issues have staying power in the state.
The recall campaign, led by parent Darshan Smaaladen, appears to have met the threshold to get the recall on the ballot. This development signals trouble not only for Miner and Ledesma but also for other Republican school board members in Southern California who have embraced cultural wedge issues in recent months.
Similar recall campaigns have been organized in other districts, including Temecula, where trustees also fired the superintendent and adopted a new transgender student policy. These policies require teachers and schools to notify parents when a child requests to use a name or pronoun that doesn’t align with the gender listed on official documents.
Miner and Ledesma came to power by securing seats on the Orange Unified School District board, where they established a conservative majority. They fired the district superintendent in January and adopted the new parental notification policy. These victories for concerned parents infuriated the Left, and now they’re looking for revenge.
LGBTQ advocacy groups argue that these policies are a direct attack on vulnerable transgender youth, and they have resulted in litigation led by California Attorney General Rob Bonta. While Democratic lawmakers, particularly members of the Legislature’s LGBTQ Caucus, discussed introducing a bill to reverse what they call “forced outing” policies this session, concerns about messaging and some pushback from Governor Gavin Newsom’s office have led them to address the issue next year.
The Left is accustomed to running school boards across the country as they see fit. So when they do lose power, they will fiercely battle to retake control whenever possible; but conservatives shouldn’t back down. Instead, they should vigorously defend the brave incumbents who have fought for parental rights and then launch recall campaigns against liberal school board members who have vigorously opposed parental rights. Although a long fight over the control of schools may seem daunting, the issue of parental rights is far too important of an issue to cave on.