CHINO - California Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) school board president Sonja Shaw told Fox News that she has continued to receive death threats against her and her family after she opposed transgender ideology in the classroom.
Shaw explained to Fox that she "never imagined" a "simple notification policy would end up going viral all over the nation." The support, as well as the hate she has received since then, she said, has been overwhelming.
"I had people reach out to me from almost every state in the USA just giving me support, encouragement, wanting to even purchase security items for my home. But on the opposite end, you know, I got some heat too. There is a lot of name-calling, nasty things I would never wish upon anybody. And then, of course, the death threats on me and my family and my animals."
Shaw led the passage of a successful pro-parent transparency policy that requires CVUSD schools to notify parents if their child expresses a "gender identity" that is different from their biological sex. The four-to-one vote came after a heated four-hour board meeting with nearly 90 speakers.
Shaw, a mother of two children, said that the bitter opposition to the policy was telling.
"But the ugliness also proves who's after the children. Because to inform the parents and [for] them to go that wild should prove that those are the same people that want control of the kids," she added.
Shaw is at the center of a video that went viral after California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond criticized her policy of parental notification policy at a public meeting.
She said her family has suffered as a result of backlash against the video, even making normal trips to the grocery store difficult. Shaw revealed that one person sent her threatening "pictures" of her home.
The reaction has been "nerve wracking," Shaw said, especially when all she wanted to do was "inform the parents" if their children were interested in transitioning to another gender.
"It's so weird we're even in this place," she said. "Where is the morality and the moral values in our country that these people are going this wild? It's not like anybody is stopping anybody from doing anything in their lifestyle. All we're saying is a parent needs to be notified because we have incidents," she explained, "where teachers have inappropriate conversations [with students]."
Shaw emphasized that she "love[s] teachers" and has many friends who are teachers, but that some teachers have been caught abusing their power over the students.
"There is a lot of sexual abuse with teachers recently. I mean, we see it all over the place. We have our own Department of Education that instead of focus[ing] on making sure our kids are raising their test scores, especially after the [COVID] shutdown, their passion is on social justice and sexualization."
"We're in a dangerous place as a society," she added.
Max Eden, an education expert, told Fox News Digital that schools which remove certain books from libraries may lose access to federal funding. "If you so much as consider removing a sexually explicit book from the school library," one researcher said, "[w]e can come in and take away all of your federal funding," Eden said, summing up the message from the Department of Education.
The Department of Education Office of Civil Rights will begin informing districts on how reviewing and removing books from schools challenged by parents can create a racially and sexually hostile environment in violation of federal law, according to a June announcement from the White House.
Shaw said that one upside of the controversy surrounding the parental notification policy in California is that everyday people who are not involved in politics are "finally realizing the dangers that a lot of these people in these political positions are imposing on our children."
"I think that's what's wonderful, is it no longer becomes a political thing. It becomes a moral thing. And no matter what political party you associate with, I think we can all agree that our children are number one and they're precious and we need to join together no matter what we believe otherwise to protect our children."
When asked who the major force behind the opposition to informing parents about their children's gender identity was, Shaw was clear.
"I'll be honest, and I'm going to say it out loud. I think it's the unions, it's the push. It's this new wave of whatever they want to call themselves, educators or whatever they are that are coming in, because you have so many amazing teachers that don't want this. They don't want that relationship with the parents."
Shaw also claimed that her local teacher’s union branch is sending "legal threatening letters to our district" in an attempt to reverse the parental notification policy.
"And that to me is very concerning because why would you want to push out a parent? Why are they assuming a parent is dangerous? That is dangerous to me. And that shows to me that they want some kind of secret weird relationship with the child without the parent involved. Unless the parent is deemed unfit, I don't think we should be [assuming] that the parent is dangerous at all."
In a similar way, she said, transgender ideology in schools has "nothing to do with getting the kids the resources they need to be educated and everything to do with their political agenda."
She told parents that their "voice matters" and that they shouldn’t give up, even when facing powerful forces in their community. For her, the important thing is that parents unite to protect their children.
"We did it here in Chino Valley. We flipped our board. We went against a giant."
Shaw also spoke to her Christian beliefs. "It's no it's no secret that I am a Christ follower and I love Jesus. I don't push that in the schools. I do have moral values that tie into being a Christ follower."
In that way, the battle over parental control of schools is more than just a political battle, she said.
"This is a moral thing. And if you are a believer, this is a spiritual battle. You know that when people are saying they're going to kill you and they're after the kids, that is an evil, demonic, spiritual battle."
"Local churches can and do play a part."
Newsom's office and the Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment from Fox News Digital.