San Diego School Board Coalition Fights for Parental Rights in Education
In San Diego County, California, local education leaders are uniting to form a coalition advocating for increased parental input in their children’s education. The group, led by Lakeside Union School Board President Andrew Hayes, aims to create a “Parents Bill of Rights” to empower parents with more information about their child’s education, including details about gender identity, reading materials, and healthcare decisions.
According to Hayes, the coalition believes that the state is restricting their ability to notify parents about important aspects of their children’s education. They argue that local school districts should have the authority to establish appropriate parental notification policies, and they seek to expand parental access to information.
However, A.T. Furuya, representing Transform Together, an organization focusing on LGBTQ+ education, expressed concern about the proposed “Parents Bill of Rights.” Furuya reviewed the document and pointed out what they perceived as misinformation regarding LGBTQ+ advocacy and inclusion in schools. They emphasized that some of the items, such as parent-written approval for administered medications like sex hormone therapy, are already in place, with legal guardian consent required for medical decisions.
The newly formed coalition emphasizes that its members do not officially represent their respective school districts. Lakeside Union Superintendent Dr. Rhonda Taylor clarified that some elements of the proposed “Parents Bill of Rights” are already implemented, and they welcome parental input in the decision-making process.
However, California laws currently prevent districts from providing certain information to parents. For instance, Dr. Taylor highlighted the legal restrictions on notifying parents about a child expressing gender identity issues. The coalition, led by Hayes, is prepared to challenge these laws if necessary, expressing a willingness to take the matter to court.
The coalition plans to present the “Parents Bill of Rights” at their individual board meetings in December, seeking majority approval from each district. If adopted, the proposal will be forwarded to the State Department of Education. The move reflects a larger effort to address concerns about parental involvement and information transparency in the education system.
As this debate unfolds, parents must be empowered to be actively involved in their children’s education and decisions impacting their well-being. Critics argue that current state laws may limit parental rights and hinder communication between schools and families. The coalition’s efforts, if successful, could reshape the landscape of parental involvement in education within San Diego County.