Joe W. Bowers Jr. and Edward Henderson | California Black Media
Last week, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond was removed from a Chino Valley Unified School District board of education meeting after speaking out against a policy requiring school staff to notify parents if their child identifies as transgender.
Thurmond was invited to the meeting by students concerned about the policy.
After Thurmond spoke, he was verbally attacked by the board president, Sonja Shaw.
“You’re in Sacramento purposing things that pervert children,” she said.
Thurmond wrote in a series of tweets, “I don’t mind being thrown out of a board meeting by extremists. I can take the heat – it’s part of the job. What I can’t accept is the mistreatment of vulnerable students whose privacy is being taken away.”
Thurmond has been a vocal advocate for LGBTQ+ rights and has spoken out against book bans.
The Chino Valley school board voted to approve the policy, which is similar to Assembly Bill 1314, authored by Assemblymember Bill Essayli (R-Riverside) which failed to get a hearing in the state Assembly.
Essayli also spoke at the school board meeting and received mixed reactions from the attendees.
That evening, California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a statement urging the school district to protect students’ privacy.