On Wednesday, the parent of a former student in the Spreckels Union School District issued a scathing speech against members of the school board, stating that teachers at the school had affirmed her daughter's transgender identity without talking to her first.
"Jessica Konen has alleged that school staff indoctrinated her then 12-year-old daughter in an LGBTQ club disguised as an 'Equality Club,'" according to The Epoch Times.
Konen said that she believes one of the teachers had invited her daughter to join in on a lunch-hour "Equality Club" session. They then began affirming that her daughter was transgender.
Teachers from this school were recorded in leaked audio at a California Teachers Association conference last month, titled "2021 LGBTQ+ Issues Conference, Beyond the Binary: Identity & Imagining Possibilities."
The conference in part went over how to run Gay-Straight Alliance clubs in "conservative communities" where parents may not be open to their children joining such clubs.
Buena Vista Middle School teacher and LGBTQ-club leader Lori Caldeira, where the student went to school, said that no records are kept of their meetings so parents would be unable to discover if their child was in the club.
"Because we are not official—we have no club rosters, we keep no records,” said Caldeira. In fact, sometimes we don't really want to keep records because if parents get upset that their kids are coming? We're like, 'Yeah, I don’t know. Maybe they came?' You know, we would never want a kid to get in trouble for attending if their parents are upset," according to Abigail Shrier, who as sent the audio of the conference.
Middle school teacher Kelly Baraki said that they had been going through their students' search histories to tag those that they should invite to the club.
"When we were doing our virtual learning – we totally stalked what they were doing on Google, when they weren't doing school work. One of them was googling 'Trans Day of Visibility.' And we’re like, 'Check.' We're going to invite that kid when we get back on campus," she said.
Konen said that her daughter was part of one of these clubs.
By the time her daughter was in the middle of her seventh grade year, Konen and her daughter were called for a meeting with a teacher and the school's principal.
It was there that a teacher told Konen that her daughter was "trans fluid."
"I sat across the table, and I was crying. I was trying to absorb everything," Konen told The Epoch Times.
"They kept looking at me angrily because I kept saying 'she,' and that it was going to take me time to time to process everything," she said. "I was very confused. … I was very upset. I was blindsided—completely blindsided."
The teacher accused Konen of not being "emotionally supportive" of her daughter. She was then being called by a new name, had male pronouns used, and would be using the unisex restroom at school.
"I felt she completely coached my child," Konen said.
"It made me feel very, very small as a parent. I was unaware of anything. Not one time had she mentioned to me 'Oh, I think that I want to change my name,' or 'I'm transgender' or anything. Nothing. I only heard bisexual one time, and that was it," Konen said.
At the school board meeting, Konen slammed the board members and teachers for the actions they took with her daughter.
"You took away my ability to parent my child. Even before I had any knowledge. I didn't even get to show support you ask for support I didn't get a chance," said Konen.
"You changed her personal documentation, her gender, her name, her email. I authorized an AKA added to her attendance because I want it to be supportive. But guess what? She's allergic to bees. Her medical record says a birth name and you changed it," she continued
"They downgraded me in front of my child, and allowed me to question myself as the mother. You sat there and told me how my child was going to be. And then you wrapped your hands around her while I sat across the table and cried because you thought you could be there better than I, and I never got a chance. She was scared to even say anything," she added.