". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Arrest Made in ‘Demonic’ Death Threat Against Sonja Shaw

August 10, 2023

After enduring weeks of threats ranging from litigation to dismemberment, a pro-family school board member has two reasons to celebrate. Police have arrested a woman who left a death threat in a “demonic” voice after the board required teachers to tell parents if their children begin identifying as transgender. And a California assemblyman has asked the attorney general to explain whether his investigation of the school district was designed to punish officials who dare to “disagree with the narrative of the ruling political party.”

The Chino Valley (California) Unified School District Board of Education adopted a policy that parents will be informed within three days if their children begin using a name or “pronouns that do not align the child’s biological sex,” seek to join a sports team or use the facility of the opposite sex, or try to change their school records. Sonja Shaw shepherded the motion past legal threats from Democratic state officials to a 4-1 majority on July 20.

The next day, violent and disturbing messages began to pour in, starting with a phone call placed by a man from another state. Investigating that call led police into began unraveling the tidal wave of intimidation that deluged the CVUSD board in general and Shaw in particular. “Why are people so angry about notifying parents and keeping people in the loop?” asked Shaw.

Shaw revealed on “Washington Watch” in late July that the district became deluged with death threats in the days after adopting its parents’ rights policy, including an anonymous call threatening “to kill me, and they said that they were going to dismember my body parts.” Nameless, faceless email accounts told Shaw they planned to murder her, kill her children, and slaughter their pets — often including accurate details of her home life.

Then, police announced late last week that they arrested 52-year-old Rebecca Morgan of Berkeley for threatening Shaw.

“She left multiple messages for me,” said Shaw. “She also left one other message for one of our other [CVUSD board] members.” At times, “she was changing her voice to an almost demonic voice,” Shaw told One America New Network (OAN). “She was very specific on what she wanted to do,” telling her Shaw to “keep one eye open when you sleep.”

Shaw thanked police and felt privileged she could suffer threats for her stand because, “as much as it hurts and it’s scary, I think it also revealed who’s after our kids.”

California’s Christian leaders also praised the police work, while hoping that “every person responsible for sending the threatening messages is held accountable. No one should feel unsafe simply for doing their job. However, Christians should expect this kind of backlash when doing God’s work,” wrote Sophia Lorey of the California Family Council.

Shaw says the crucible of LGBTQ hatred has brought her closer to Christ. As worldly powers and people around her raged, Shaw’s faith in Christ deepened. “God kept showing me hope [in] Jeremiah 29:11,” she said. “I have drawn closer and closer to God during this time and look to Him for direction and protection.”

The police investigation continues. Meanwhile, Shaw said she and others in the community are taking precautions to protect their loved ones. “I’m applying for my CCW [Concealed Carry Weapons license]. We also took my girls to go learn how to shoot,” she said. She added that her family received “comforting” offers by “people in the community who said that they would come and stand in front of my home and take shifts” standing sentry.

“I won’t back down and will stand in the gap to protect our kids from big government bullies,” Shaw has said.

State authorities responded to the explosive situation by further threatening CVUSD members. California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) opened a civil rights investigation into the board last week, saying there is a chance the “forced outing” of minors who identify as transgender to “unaccepting” parents could possibly lead to “potential abuse.”

But state officials believe Bonta is the one who may be guilty of abuse. California Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R) sent a letter asking Bonta to explain the “legal basis” for his investigation and whether Bonta is “similarly investigating school districts implementing policies that violate the civil rights of parents.”

Essayli accused the California Department of Education of giving “faulty advice” that “students possess a legally cognizable privacy interest from their parents. .... Never in the history of our jurisprudence have we held that children have a right to privacy from their parents.” Bonta’s legal theory “violates 100 years of United States Supreme Court precedence that has consistently said that parents, not schools, possess the fundamental right to raise their children.”

“As a result of the CDE advice, public schools in California are increasingly implementing illegal, unconstitutional and unethical policies that exclude parents from the affairs of their children,” while the “actions of CVUSD are in keeping with fundamental constitutional principles.”

If Bonta declines to explain himself, Essayli will be forced to conclude the probe was “designed to chill the political activities of local school boards who disagree with the narrative of the ruling political party in Sacramento.”

The school board has a long history of defying the LGBTQ narrative when it infringes on fundamental rights or the purpose of education. CVUSD previously adopted a resolution supporting Essayli’s Assembly Bill 1314, which would require schools to notify parents if children begin to identify as members of a different sex. It died in the Democrat-dominated chamber in April. On June 15 — literally in the middle of Pride Month — the Chino Valley School Board voted to prevent teachers from flying LGBT flags in the classroom, again by a 4-1 vote. (Board member Donald Bridge cast the lone no vote on these motions.)

When told such flags made children feel “safe,” Shaw replied, “If a teacher has to fly a flag in the classroom to show a kid this is safe space, that is a teacher problem.” 

California’s increasingly besieged Christian parents hailed Shaw’s resolute stand. “Christian leaders need to stand firm, undeterred by intimidation, and emulate the fortitude and bravery demonstrated by individuals like Shaw,” wrote Lorey. Shaw has repeatedly promised not to take a backward step in her quest to protect parents, and children, from teacher-activists and the transgender industry.

“Regardless of threats, I’m not going away,” Shaw said.

Ben Johnson is senior reporter and editor at The Washington Stand.