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Elk Grove Unified parents plan walkout over LGBTQ+ club started in schools

Parents plan walkout across Elk Grove Unified over LGBTQ club
Parents plan walkout across Elk Grove Unified over LGBTQ club 03:15

ELK GROVE — Some parents at Elk Grove Unified are taking legal action claiming that an LGBTQ club was created on an elementary school campus in secret.

"These little minds, they just can't wrap their head around what these types of things mean to them," said Pamela Davila, a parent at Pleasant Grove Elementary School.

Parents claim a third-grade teacher at Pleasant Grove Elementary started a lunchtime "UBU" club, pronounced you be you, as a safe space for students who were being bullied.

"I don't think any of us have an issue with that topic," Davila said. "It's just that they did that without notifying the parents." 

Elk Grove Unified said the teacher never told students to not tell their parents, but since the controversy, this and other similar clubs have been on pause as the district reviews its policies. 

"It is really a matter of do parents have the fundamental right to raise, educate and train their children, or does the state have the right to replace parents?" said Dean Broyles, president of the National Center for Law and Policy.

Broyles worked with parents and drafted this cease-and-desist letter to the district detailing how the 14th Amendment protects parents' fundamental rights to guide and direct the care and education of their children. 

"If they want to have a club like this, it should be after school, it should be with full parental knowledge and consent," Broyles said. 

Upset parents recently plastered flyers near Elk Grove school campuses encouraging a districtwide walkout on Friday, March 29. 

Elk Grove Unified sent this letter to parents in response to the walkout. In this letter, it said any student who does not attend class will be marked unexcused for the time missed.

"Events such as walkouts are especially challenging for schools as we have to balance student safety and required school attendance with the rights of students to express themselves," the letter from the district said. 

Elk Grove Unified parent Tiffany Woods spoke out at a packed school board meeting in early March and said the clubs create a safe space for students with non-supportive parents. 

"Schools are the safety net," Woods said. "Having that extra support and that validation to help them through the day is crucial."  

Elk Grove Unified said it could not comment on the cease-and-desist letter as it is pending litigation. 

"Deal with the bullying. Don't keep secrets from parents," said Elk Grove Unified parent Brittani Cortina. "Take that issue with the parents don't take that issue with the students in the school." 

The parents against the clubs believe they are fine in middle school or high school, but not elementary. 

They are planning on not having their kids show up to school on Friday. 

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