California bill aims to make it illegal to criticize teachers for instructing in gender ideology

The statement explains that incidents of teacher harassment not only occur at schools, but also on social media platforms.

Mia Ashton Montreal QC

A California Democrat is seeking to make it a misdemeanor to criticise teachers for teaching gender identity ideology to children.

SB 596, authored by Senator Anthony J. Portantino, seeks to “address the issue of teachers facing harassment and aims to provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students and teachers.” But a closer look at how harassment is defined in the bill has some people concerned.

“Any person who subjects a school employee to threats or harassment while the employee is away from a schoolsite or after school hours for reasons related to the employee’s course of duties” could face a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000, and/or imprisonment for not more than one year.

Harassment is defined as “unlawful violence, a credible threat of violence, or a knowing and willful course of conduct directed at a specific person that seriously alarms, annoys, or harasses the person, and that serves no legitimate purpose.”

The bill goes on to state that such conduct must be that which would cause a “reasonable person” to suffer substantial emotional distress, and must actually cause such distress.

This conduct includes behaviour such as following or stalking an individual, making harassing telephone calls, or sending harassing correspondence, such as emails.

A press release gives the example of an elementary school teacher who was transferred to a different school due to safety concerns after receiving threats for talking to students about LGBTQ Pride Month.

The statement explains that incidents of teacher harassment not only occur at schools, but also on social media platforms.

“Teachers are being intimidated and harassed for doing their jobs,” stated Portantino. “SB 596 will ensure that educators can safely continue to be educators, helping their students thrive unencumbered by fear and intimidation. I am very grateful to the teachers in my district for their commitment to our children and for bringing the need for this bill to my attention.”

In a February press release upon introduction of the bill, it was explained that schools across the country are facing “greater scrutiny” over lessons taught in the classroom.

A 2022 a study surveying 682 high school principals across the country revealed that “48% of principals reported that parents or community members tried to challenge or limit policies promoting the rights of LGBTQ+ students.”

“Across the country, educators are facing an eminent threat against our profession and our livelihoods,” stated Glendale Unified School District teacher Patrick Davarhanian.

“There is a calculated effort by radical extremists to ban books in our libraries, censor classes that teach accurate and honest history, and harass and threaten educators in the process. These extremist elements are targeting the core tenants of inclusive public education and attempting to use threats of violence to achieve their means.”

“From insults and bullying to intimidation tactics and death threats, our educators have had to endure an onslaught of harassment both inside and outside the classroom,” added Davarhanian. “A civil society that values diversity, embraces critical thinking, and promotes quality education cannot capitulate to hate, bigotry and intimidation. We must not allow these threats of violence to go unanswered. We must stand with our educators, protect our students, and defend public education.”

There has been an enormous push by parents to rid classrooms of gender identity ideology, pornographic books, and political symbols such as Pride flags. Parents all across the nation have also been calling for an end to the secrecy policies that allow teachers to practice psychotherapy without a license and socially transition children without parental consent or knowledge.

“Having worked in the field of education for over a decade, we have faced many challenges to our profession,” said Gagik Galfayan, also a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District. “But no challenge has been greater than the threats of violence educators are receiving as a result of an outpouring of hate and intolerance.”

“Educators are committed to teaching honest, accurate history, and fostering inclusive classrooms. Our expertise in pedagogy, our respect for state standards, and our passion for teaching students guides our instruction,” Galfayan added.

Last month, The Post Millennial reported on a Glendale Unified School District teacher who had given a training session in 2019 detailing how she and her husband engaged in numerous unethical and potentially illegal practices to start a Gay Straight Alliance (or Gender and Sexuality Alliance) at the middle school where they worked.

The teacher described bribing adolescents with food so that they would join her club, and how she and her husband, a mental health counsellor at the school, had poached emotionally unstable youth from the counselling office.

At the time, in 2019, two Glendale Unified elementary schools had “Baby GSAs.”


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