Murrieta school board reaffirms support for transgender policy, defying state ruling

Saturday, April 20, 2024
MURRIETA, Calif. (KABC) -- In a 3-2 vote, the Murrieta Board of Education moved forward with a policy that requires schools notify a parent or guardian when a student chooses to be identified by a different gender.

An overwhelming number of public speakers voiced support for the policy.

"Teachers can't pick and choose when they want to involve parents. Parents need to be involved 100% - good or bad," one person said.

The board was supposed to vote on whether to rescind the policy and possibly draft a new one.

"I voted against their outing policy and am still opposed," board member Nancy Young said in a statement. "I believe it is illegal, discriminatory, cruel and is miring the district in lawsuits. These kids already have a high suicide rate. They are fighting their personal political battles with Sacramento on taxpayer dollars. They need to do this on their own time and with their own money."

Last week, the California Department of Education ruled the policy is against education code. That was the result of an investigation following complaints by two Murrieta teachers, including Karen Poznanski.

"The result of last night's meeting was a complete abuse of power in its most blatant form," Poznanski told Eyewitness News.

For Poznanski, the impact of the policy is personal as an educator and as a mother.

"My oldest child is non-binary," she said. "I looked at my child and I said, 'Now we need to do something.'"

Board member Nick Pardue supported the motion to implement the policy.

"The state of California seems committed to attacking our community, our board, and if I could be honest, just our constitutional rights," Pardue said.

Among those who opposed the policy: a board student member and two board members, including Linda J. Lunn.

Lunn told Eyewitness News in part, "...A school board member's only job is to focus on what really matters: student learning and achievement opportunities. Fighting a culture war with Sacramento is a false, fraudulent use of my time and I will not be drawn into that ridiculous effort that will only take money and staff time away from students."

" I think I think we have to be honest about what the policy is, right? So it's a forced outing policy. It is driven by political ideology, religious ideology," said Jeff Pack, co-founder of One Temecula Valley PAC. Pack founded the PAC, stressing these boards are nonpartisan seats. Temecula has instituted the same type of policy Murrieta approved Thursday.

Pozananski said she has filed another complaint with the California Department of Education.

"I want it to be made clear that this policy breaks the law. It violates ed code. If you are unhappy with a law, then you can go to Sacramento and try to institute a change there, " Poznanski said. "Do not use students and do not use my child as a weapon, a political weapon to fight Sacramento."

Copyright © 2024 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.