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


Parents Protest Calif. Bills that Would Strip Parental Rights

August 24, 2023

Parents in the Golden State are protesting new state measures that would strip parents of their right to raise their children. The California Family Council hosted a rally outside the state capitol in Sacramento on Monday to call attention to a spate of state bills that would stifle parental rights and give the state legislature, school boards, and social workers greater authority over children than parents have.

Erin Friday, an attorney who spoke at the event, argued that the bills violate the constitutional rights of parents. “California has been on a crusade to take away our children once they reach the age 12,” she told The Washington Stand. “The laws being passed are deeming parents to be unworthy of raising their children. And our Constitution makes it clear that parents have a fundamental right to raise their children as they see fit. … And we are moving at a fast clip to where the government will be the parents.”

Many of the bills being protested are education-related pieces of legislation. Assembly Bill 1078 would diminish the authority of the school boards parents have been fighting so hard to take back, requiring a two-thirds majority (instead of a simple majority) to ban pornographic or ideologically-charged books from classrooms and school libraries. The bill would also prohibit school boards from removing “topics related to race, ethnicity, gender, [and] sexual orientation” from curricula or classroom discussions and presentations.

Sonja Shaw, president of the Chino Valley Unified School District, spoke to parents at the event about why she got involved in her local school board and how legislation like this curbs the authority of even duly-elected school board officials. “[The state’s] goal was to break up the family unit and take control of our children,” she said. “They were pushing perversion on our children in every possible way through curriculum and books all while our children were failing at reading, writing, and math.” Shaw added that when responsible parents speak up and take back their school boards, “they come after us with blackmail and bills to silence us.”

Meg Kilgannon, senior fellow for Education Studies at Family Research Council, commented to TWS, “These bills coming out of California are a warning to the world. Queer theory radical ideologues are coming for your children, and they will fine you (or worse) if you complain about it.”

Jack Hibbs, pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills and another event speaker, told Fox News he fears California may soon outlaw homeschooling. “The next step in the state of California is for the legislation to come forward to limit or to prohibit, and in some cases, stop homeschooling because they think it may threaten the child’s safety to be homeschooled.”

State Senate Bill 596 would amend criminal harassment laws to criminalize parents who protest at school board meetings. Another piece of legislation, Assembly Bill 5, would train teachers to determine whether or not students who identify as LGBT are “affirmed” or “supported” at home. This is particularly worrying to parents in light of Assembly Bill 957, which rewrites California custody laws to allow courts to take children away from parents who don’t affirm “the child’s gender identity or gender expression.”

Friday told parents at the event, “This is the ultimate goal: Pull that child from parents like me who believe in biological reality, put them in a residential facility, take a lot of money from those parents … but in the interim, that child is going to be owned by the state.” Speaking to TWS, she added, “The state doesn’t have a very good history of taking care of unwanted children, so I suspect they would have the same issue if they take children from their loving parents.”

Yet another piece of proposed legislation, Assembly Bill 665, allows children as young as 12 to check themselves into gender transition facilities without parental approval, provided at least one therapist has said the child would benefit from the process. “They want to mold our children and take our children from us, and no parent, whatever your political affiliation, is going to put up with it,” Friday commented.

Shaw made it clear that parental rights advocates would be seeking public office. “The majority of Sacramento politicians are programmed, and the political cartel … have a stronghold on California’s public education and use that to push their ideology — but not for long,” she told parents at the rally. “All the wicked, low-class politicians following their lead, listen to us. This is from us. Today we stand here and declare in His almighty name that it’s only a matter of time before we take your seats. … This is a spiritual battle. This is a warfare.”

Friday noted that whether a parent believes in spiritual warfare or not, parents should be concerned and must get involved. “I’m a Democrat, I’m non-religious,” she told TWS. “This isn’t a political issue, it’s not a religious issue, it’s a parental rights issue and child safeguarding.”

Several thousand were reportedly planning to attend the event from all across California, but Tropical Storm Hilary resulted in at least 1,000 flight cancelations. Nonetheless, the event was attended by over 1,000 parents ready to fight for their children.

S.A. McCarthy serves as a news writer at The Washington Stand.