Catalina Foothills School District board held their regular meeting Tuesday night, where parents packed into the board room as the debate over students’ privacy rights continue.
This comes after an email from a middle school principal resurfaced from 2021 that showed a list of students and their preferred pronouns, and which students didn’t want their parents to know.
One of the meeting attendees Gregg James said he came to the meeting tonight because of the board’s refusal to put the topics of parents’ rights, student privacy and transgender bathroom rights on the agenda.
“They didn’t want to hear from any of us,” he said. “I don’t care if you agree or disagree with me my voice deserves to be heard. It’s about privacy, security, parental rights…”
The group Catalina Foothills School District Concerned Citizen urged parents to attend this meeting, in order to implore the school board to put items on the agenda. The CFSD Concerned Citizen’s website states “all students have the equal right to parental nurturing regardless of their expressed desires or identity.”
“They are not being held accountable,” James said. “And by putting the item on, their being held accountable.”
One of the students Alex Crampton at the meeting spoke at the podium during the call to the audience about each of the issues.
“I largely disagree with the parents that they should be entitled to their child’s name and pronouns if they aren’t going to be accepting,” she said.
But some at the meeting like Teri Garrett, a staff member and mother, disagree.
“That’s a big thing if you don’t know that your child wants to change their name, their pronoun,” she said. “I don’t see why the school needs to be involved in a parental discussion.”
The board room was filled with emotion as several people spoke at the podium for three minutes each.
“I think the emotion in there is that this has been going on for two years and the parents didn’t know,” Garrett said, as she spoke about transgender bathroom rights and parental privacy.
But Garrett hopes the community can move forward, starting with a discussion.
“But all views need to be heard, and Idon’t think all views are being heard right now, including the children’s views,” she said.
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