Chino Valley Unified School Board votes to support controversial AB 1314

The Chino Valley Unified School Board of Education voted to support Assembly Bill 1314, a controversial bill that is currently in committee at the state level.

The bill requires schools to notify parents if their child identifies as transgender and wants to be publicly addressed by a gender pronoun that is different from their sex assigned at birth or wants to use facilities of a different gender. 

The board voted 4-1 to the resolution, with the only opposing vote coming from board member, Donald L. Bridge.

"I'm not gonna put my vote somewhere where it can actually cause harm. If it causes harm to one student, that's one student too many," Bridge said.

The board meeting included hundreds of students, parents, and community members. The meeting included an overflow room, and some people stood outside. Both sides were represented in the meeting and during the public comment portion.

Assemblyman Bill Essayli, the author of the bill, spoke at the meeting. He was met with both cheers and boos from the crowd.

"The reason I introduced the bill is because I saw a trend up and down the state of California in which schools were implementing policies that excluded parents in the affairs of their kids," said Essayli.

Several students spoke at the meeting, including students who identify as LGBTQ.

"None of you on the school board have transgender children and neither do most parents supporting this resolution. Why do the lives of transgender children bother you so much? Many transgender kids are not accepted into their own homes and turn to schools for a safe haven. If the parents of the student do not know that their own child is transgender then it is their own personal problem. This is not a school issue, nor a transgender issue. It is a parenting issue, said Daniel Mora, the school valedictorian at Chino High School," one student said.

Several parents also spoke at the meeting saying they would not want to be "excluded."

"As parents, it is essential that we know what is happening in our child's life. We should not be excluded from any life-altering decisions that affect our children," said a mother during a public comment.

There were more than 50 people signed up to speak during public comment, but the public comment portion was cut short.