Transcript of video:
Hi, my name is Sandee Everett and I'm a current trustee on the Conejo Valley Unified School District school board. I'm running for re-election and our ballots just arrived in our mailboxes. We really need your vote in November.
I support programs in our schools that teach kids to invite lonely students into their friend groups to be kind and helpful to each other and to be respectful of each other's differences in opinion, dress, race, religion, and all other differences.
Many students are taught at home to be respectful of others. In general, i believe that our teachers and our students are very respectful and accepting of each other, but there's always room for improvement. It is common for members of our community to disagree on how students should be taught to respect each other's differences at school.
For example, some members of our community and some members of our school board believe that in order to prevent bullying of our transgender students that all kindergarten through 6th grade students should be taught at school that gender is "assigned at birth" and that the children can choose their own gender.
These kinds of gender identity lessons were adopted by our neighboring district Oak Park in 2019. The school counselor teaches the lessons during social emotional learning. The counselor or a teacher can be required by the school district to teach the lessons if that's what the school board adopts.
Teaching kindergarten through sixth grade gender identity lessons is not mandated by law. It's not in the sex education bill. It's recommended but it's not required, although my opponent during our Thrive forum indicated that she believes that AB 1266
does require us to teach gender identity in our elementary schools. I disagree with her because this law is about sex segregation and
discrimination, and does not mention curriculum.
In 2017, the state senate passed a bill that changed the definition of gender in California. the California Teachers Association (CTA) lobbied for this bill even though it was a housing bill and unrelated to education. The bill states that transgender is an umbrella term used to describe people whose gender identity or gender expression do not match the gender that they were "assigned at birth."
The book "Who Are You?" was originally recommended by the California Department of Education (CDE) to teach gender identity for the five to eight-year-olds in school. However, after the framework was released for Health, thousands of parents in California complained about the book and the California Department of Education removed it from the recommended list in the framework, and now only recommends it for family use. However, it can still remain in libraries and teachers can still use it if they choose to do so. I'm going to read you a few pages from the book "Who Are You?" that can help you better understand how this new definition of gender may be taught in our schools if the school board elects to do that.
When babies are born people ask, "Is it a boy or a girl?"
Babies can't talk so grown-ups make a guess by looking at their bodies.
This is the sex assigned to you at birth, male or female.
Sometimes people get this confused with gender. But gender
is much more than the body you were born with.
Some people say there are only two genders,
but there are really many genders. You are who you say
you are because you know you best.
And for some people there are more than
just two choices.
These are just a few words people use trans, gender queer, non-binary, gender fluid, transgender, gender neutral, agender, neutrois, bigender, third gender, two-spirit and there are even more words people are using to describe their experience.
This is called the gender spectrum.
Although there are valid and valued perspectives on this issue, my position is that I do not believe we should teach K-6 gender identity
lessons because it is not required by law,and I don't believe that it is developmentally appropriate for our
If one of our transgender students is in a class I believe they need to be treated with dignity and respect and that the class needs to have some kind of instruction in order to help them to understand and to prevent bullying.
But I believe parents should be involved in this and that it should be very open and transparent and so that parents can teach their own values on this topic at home.
My name is Sandee Everett and I'm a current trustee on the Conejo Valley Unified School District school board.
I'm up for re-election and we need your vote in November.
Thank you so much.