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Why are parents fighting for policies like Parental Notification?

Julie Reeder


As TVUSD and several individual school districts up and down the state pass parental notification policies, many may wonder why? Why, all of a sudden, it seems like, are parents fighting against the school, the teachers, the counselors, and the state? Especially when they hear and see that Governor Newsom and Attorney General Bonta are pounding their chests and threatening school districts?

Some school boards are trying to shore up parents’ ability to manage and nurture their own children. The state, the Governor, and people opposed to the parental notification believe that teachers and the state are safer and better to manage challenging situations like a student who is transitioning and identifying as the opposite sex, and are branding it as dangerously “outing” students to their families.

Parents who are standing up at board meetings disagree and they are saying that their children are their responsibility, not the school or the state, and their domain, and if there is something going on with their child, they need to know about it so that they can help them, one way or another. Especially if that lifestyle has already proven to be potentially dangerous with high suicide rates, and permanent life-altering hormone blockers, surgery, castration, etc.

This is in addition to fighting back against books they find sexually age-inappropriate and policies that sometimes even require lying to parents or hiding what their child is doing. Sacramento has been moving harder and faster to remove local control from school boards, silence parents who are considered “disruptive” at school board meetings, and override parental authority with authoritarian-style state control.

California parents have been left shocked and distressed as new bills are pushed and passed in the state legislature and erode fundamental parental rights and undermine the sanctity of the family unit.

The mental health legislation passed earlier this year grants therapists the authority to remove children as young as 12 years old from their homes and place them in mental health facilities without obtaining parental consent and with no evidence of abuse at home. This alarming development has sparked a wave of concern among parents, advocates, and citizens alike, raising questions about the balance between state intervention and parental rights.

At the forefront of opposition to this mental health bill was Aaron Friday, a California mother, a Democrat, and prominent member of the parent advocacy group "Our Duty." In her testimony before lawmakers, Friday highlighted the profound concerns surrounding the bill, emphasizing that it constitutes a direct infringement on parental rights.

The bill has ignited fears that parents' role in raising their children would effectively be curtailed once their children reach the age of 12. This deeply troubling prospect has led some to dub the legislation the "state-sanctioned kidnapping bill."

The crux of the issue lies in the fact that the bill allows school counselors to unilaterally make decisions that can have life-altering consequences for both the child and their family. It's concerning that allegations of abuse or threats of severe harm are not prerequisites for such drastic actions to be taken. Rather, a child's mere expression of their identity or situation could prompt their removal from their home environment.

Furthermore, critics of the bill have raised valid questions about the qualifications and motivations of school counselors entrusted with this power. The potential for these individuals to have varying levels of expertise and perspectives, combined with the lack of oversight in such cases, underscores the potential for abuse and misguided decision-making.

One of the central arguments in favor of the bill's introduction was to address the issue of suicide among young people. However, the data does not seem to support the efficacy of such measures. Originally proposed in 2010 with the aim of reducing suicide rates, the bill initially allowed 12-year-olds to access mental health counseling without parental consent.

Shockingly, the number of suicides among 10 to 14-year-olds has not decreased, and the rates of suicidality among individuals aged 15 to 25 have also risen. This track record raises concerns about the bill's effectiveness and whether it truly addresses the root causes of mental health struggles.

Underlying this controversy is a broader concern about the shift in societal dynamics that seem to undermine parental rights. Some argue that this trend is indicative of a larger movement to erode the family unit and replace parental authority with that of the state. The motivations behind this trend remain a matter of speculation, but some voices have suggested that financial interests and societal norms around sexuality may be influencing these changes.

In a time when the importance of family and parental guidance cannot be understated, it is vital to approach legislation that impacts these dynamics with the utmost care and consideration. While the intention behind such bills may be well-meaning, the unintended consequences and potential infringement on individual rights cannot be overlooked.

As discussions surrounding these bills continue, it is imperative for policymakers, advocates, and concerned citizens to engage in thoughtful dialogue that balances the need to address mental health challenges of students with the preservation of parental rights, family integrity and Constitutional rights.

I think striking this delicate balance also requires an understanding of history and how governments in the past have taken over in place of the family. In the light of history and communism, socialism and authoritarianism, we need to listen carefully to the diverse perspectives and experiences of all parties involved.

And, we need to thoughtfully consider how and when the state imposes its authority over the rights of the individual and the family unit. We need to ensure that decisions are made in the best interest of the child while upholding the essential rights of their parents and also in the balance of upholding our Constitution.

The parents are the ones who know their child best, have their best interests at heart and are the ones responsible, ultimately, and will be there throughout the child’s life, no matter what choices the student makes. When all the counselors, teachers and politicians have gone home, the parents will still be there picking up whatever pieces are left.

I often hear that these “conservative” board members are trying to destroy public schools. Just the opposite. These parents are subjecting their own children to it because they believe in it and hope to better it.


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