Community speaks out on proposed pronoun policy in Clovis Unified schools

Brianna Willis Image
Thursday, September 21, 2023
Community speaks out on proposed pronoun policy for Clovis Unified
Student privacy and parental rights were on the line as community members spoke out about identity issues at a Clovis Unified board meeting.

CLOVIS, Calif. (KFSN) -- Student privacy and parental rights were on the line as community members spoke out about identity issues at a Clovis Unified School District board meeting on Wednesday night.

Parents and community members gathered at the meeting to discuss whether or not students should be required to get approval from parents or guardians to change their gender pronouns in school.

While some believe they should have a right to know what goes on in their child's life, others say it can be harmful in some situations.

"This new policy requires that if the student wants to make those kinds of changes, a parent has been notified and signed off on the change," said Nadine Pourier Blumenshine, the vice president of PFLAG.

Action News spoke to those on both sides of the issue.

"I'm a parent who believes that We have a right to know what is going on in our schools with our children," said Kristi Ergo, a mother.

"I hope that parents will be involved with every part of the children's education, in school, after school, on-campus off campus," added Fresno resident Gloria Bans.

Others say they believe this can be harmful for students in the district.

"It should be a student's own choice. It should be their option to choose when and who and how they come out to," said Blumenshine.

"It can be life or death for some students because they can't be who they are at home, and now they won't be who they are at school," said parent Jennifer Cruz.

The Clovis Unified School District responded to the issue in a statement, writing in part:

"Our existing practices in Clovis Unified are centered on balancing the rights of students to access facilities and programs based on their gender identity and the rights held by parents and guardians in the upbringing of their children. We look at every child individually to make sure they are supported and safe at school. And, we look for ways to ensure that no parent is left without access to their child's student records and educational experience."

Some on both sides say they want it to be voted on by the board and brought back as a formal agenda item.

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