No Place For Hate At School Board Meetings

I urge you to consider advocating for legislation to protect the civility of public school board meetings and promote local codes of conduct for meeting participants without limiting the right to dissent. We need to support our school districts and boards by arming them with the legislative control necessary for their safety, students safety and the safety of our community.

School board meetings should not be placed in the same governing framework as City Council or County Supervisor meetings in regard to the Brown Act. Designated school campuses that are “No Place For Hate” shouldn’t come to a pause because the school bell rings for dismissal and a school board meeting starts. Campuses should be seen as sacred ground in which is a second home for students.

Over the course of the past 3 years, I have witnessed things at school board meetings in which if these same adults were students attending schools, they would be reprimanded and seen as bullies. Many adults that speak at open comment show no filter even when children are present. This is beyond swearing at our Superintendent (which has happened). This is also about the damage speakers are doing to students (minors) who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community and BIPOC. “Child abuse is more than bruises or broken bones. While physical abuse often leaves visible scars, not all child abuse is as obvious, but can do just as much harm.” Source Homophobic slurs should be seen the same as racial slurs. Recently I witnessed someone at public comment say the following things in front of children who were invited guests: 

  • “The trendy dysphoria dujour is the psychosis that is deflate from reality is transgenderism – a delusion which declares insanely that men and boys can become women and girls and vice versa or that people can simply be non-binary or gender fluid.”
  • “Rational people call this madness insanity.”
  • “Homosexual Gender-Bender Promotion.”


At the June 7th, 2022 San Ramon Valley Unified School District Board meeting I witnessed another person at public comment say the N word. Not just once, but multiple times. The N Word: As witnessed (time stamp 3:23:40).

We can not be seen by the very students we serve as hypocrites that contradict school policies, California Ed Code and mission statements. While these are examples to what I have personally witnessed, a quick search of headlines across our state tells me that they are not isolated incidents. Can we work together in starting this conversation?

ACT NOW. Join me in contacting our elected officials to help bring this topic to their attention and start this important conversation:

California Superintendent of Schools, Tony Thurmond.

The California State Board of Education.

Contra Costa County, Superintendent of Schools, Lynn Mackey.

16th California Assembly District, Assemblymember, Rebecca Baurer-Kahan.

7th District, Senator Steve Glazer.

Protecting Instructional Minutes

Could you imagine a for profit company being given privilege to students during instructional time to teach their own curriculum, not acknowledged by the school district or state, diverting a students time at school for their own corporate agenda? We need to look no further than the recent congressional hearings that took place with Juul. Not only did Juul have it’s own set of curriculum for students, which we have since learned representatives said the e-cigarettes were ‘totally safe,’ in addition, schools accepted money from Juul. This is why as parents and educators, we need to be especially mindful about who has access to our most vulnerable population; our children. Spoiler Alert: We’re not only talking about Juul.
What happens when we replace the company Juul with any fundraiser held during instructional minutes at school? While many of us are familiar with what fundraising is, we are not so familiar with regulations or policies that govern fundraisers. Luckily, if you are in a state like California, Educational Code 51520 is mindful of protecting instructional time.
Protecting instructional minutes means that fundraisers do not interfere and disrupt students regular daily schedule.
Many school districts already have great policies and guides in place to empower leadership and parent organizations to make decisions vested in the best interest of students. School districts need to adhere to the law. In fact, Los Angeles Unified School District has created a guide for school leadership and volunteer groups to make sure all adhere to the law.

“Not During Instructional Time” (slide 12/27 of LAUSD’s Fundraising Policy) highlights that:
  • this applies to those fundraisers that claim to have an instructional component
  • P.E. is still instructional time (aka running laps during class for outside pledges)
We should always use caution when a company tells school leaders they are teaching character lessons to students. As Faith Boninger, a research associate at the National Education Policy Center said, “A lot of commercial programs that try to get into schools will claim to be consistent with Common Core, claim to be bringing education values, but they’re not promoting the democratically agreed upon curriculum. They’re coming in as opportunists.”
I’m certainly not advocating that we should banish all school fundraisers. I’m simply saying that we should not only adhere to the law, but be mindful of who we give access to our children during the school day. School fundraisers can boost school spirit while raising funds for school. Fundraising is a part of public school culture, one in which, for many schools in California generates funds to hire specialists and offer enrichment classes. Donations poor in throughout the year from Educational Foundations and PTA’s with dedicated volunteers that collect money from parents and community members in hopes of providing a quality educational experience for students. The problem occurs when organizations aren’t aware of the law. That’s when the school district needs to to step up and empower those groups or be held accountable.