Chino Valley school board kicks out State Superintendent Tony Thurmond from meeting

Ted Eytan | Flickr

A sidewalk display of transgender flags.

State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond was heckled and forcibly removed from a Chino Valley Unified School Board meeting Thursday after speaking in opposition to a proposed district policy that would force schools to inform parents if their child identifies as transgender, KTVU reported.

The school board ultimately voted to approve the policy, which mirrors failed Assembly Bill 1314. The California Legislative LGBTQ+ caucus described legislation that aims to “out” transgender and non-binary students against their will as putting children in potentially life threatening danger, and subjecting them to trauma and violence.

Thurmond, via Twitter, said he was invited by students to join them as they spoke out against the policy. When he was done speaking, he said, the board present verbally attacked him and instructed the police to remove him.

“I don’t mind being thrown out of a board meeting by extremists, I can take the heat, it’s part of the job,” Thurmond said. “What I can’t accept is the mistreatment of vulnerable students whose privacy is being taken away.”

In what could be described as anti-trans hate speech, conservative board president Sonja Shaw accused Thurmond of “proposing things that pervert children,” after he made his comments and before calling security to remove him from the meeting.

Chino Valley Unified has had a revolving door of ultra-conservative school board members who have opposed state laws protecting transgender students rights. In 2021, the board attempted to ban transgender students from using restrooms and locker rooms corresponding to their gender identity, but failed after the California Attorney General’s Office warned that the proposal violated state education code and it was prepared to litigate.

Chino Hills school board members over the years have been members of the Calvary Chapel of Chino Hills, which has been behind many of the efforts to do away with protections for transgender students.

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