California’s state superintendent of schools was kicked out of a board meeting Thursday night, where he opposed a district’s policy to require teachers to notify parents of students that identify as transgender.
Tony Thurmond, 54, clashed with Chino Valley Unified School District official Sonja Shaw which prompted people in attendance to tell the educator to “leave our kids alone.”
“I come before you as a parent tonight but we can debate all of the laws and all of the policies and practices, I ask you to consider this- that nearly half of students who identify as being LGBTQ+ are considering suicide,” Thurmond began.
“The policy that you consider tonight not only may fall outside the 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,”
Shaw, cut Thurmond off, claiming his allotted time was up as she railed against the state official, blaming him for putting the school district in the position it was in.
“Tony Thurmond, I appreciate you being here, tremendously. But here’s the problem we’re here tonight because of people like you,” Shaw said.
“You’re in Sacramento proposing things that pervert children. You had a chance to come and talk to me Tony, by all means, you had a chance to come talk to me, why was it so important for you to walk with my opponent? You are the very reason we are in this,” Shaw added.
Thurmond attempted to bring up a point of order but was quickly rejected by Shaw, who claimed he would do the exact same thing to her if the roles were reversed.
“No order, this is not your meeting you may have a seat because if I did this to you in Sacramento you would not accept it, please sit,” Shaw tells Thurmond. “You’re not going to blackmail us, you already sent us a blackmailing letter previously, you will not bully us here in Chino, please sit.”
Thurmond was escorted out of the meeting when he exceeded his allotted one minute of speaking time.
The school board voted 4-1 to mandate schools “notify parents of children that identify as transgender, seek a name or pronoun change, or requests access to gender-based facilities that do not correspond with their assigned gender at birth,” according to KTVU.
Thurmond said he was invited by students to speak out against the “radical policies,” but was verbally attacked by Shaw.
“Tonight I went to a school board meeting to stand up for LGBTQ+ students who invited me to join them as they spoke out against a radical new policy that threatens their safety,” Thurmond wrote. “When done speaking, the board president verbally attacked me and instructed the police to remove me.”
Thurmond later called the school board “extremists” and claimed that if he, the Superintendent of Public Instruction can be kicked out of a school meeting, “how are everyday parents and students in Chino Valley Unified supposed to have their voices heard.”