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MVUSD Votes 3-2 to Keep Outing Policy


On Thursday, April 18th, Murrieta Valley Unified School District board members voted 3-2 to keep controversial Board Policy 5020.1, colloquially referred to as Murrieta’s “forced outing policy.” Several days prior, California’s Department of Education found MVUSD’s policy discriminatory and ordered the district to rescind it. According to board trustee Linda Lunn, the district has spent “tens of thousands of dollars” in legal fees to keep the policy—tens of thousands of dollars that could have been kept in the classroom.

Board policy 5020.1, almost identical to Assemblyman Bill Essayli’s failed 2023 legislation, AB1314, has been criticized as being reckless, dangerous, and transphobic. On the other hand, proponents of the policy applaud it for keeping parents involved in their children’s lives despite the risks associated with outing transgender students.

As per the policy, MVUSD staff are expected to notify parents within three days if their child requests to use a different name or different pronouns or to change any official or unofficial information in the records. This may seem harmless to some, but beyond the predictable results of such a massive violation of trust, forcibly outing students can have dire consequences.

Studies show that transgender youth face higher rates of childhood abuse. One study published by the American Academy of Pediatrics reports that 73% of transgender youth reported psychological abuse, 39% reported physical abuse, and 19% reported sexual abuse. Furthermore, according to The Trevor Project, just 1 in 3 transgender and nonbinary youth found their home to be affirming, and 29% of LGBTQ youth experienced homelessness, were kicked out, or had to run away. Transgender youth who were kicked out or ran away made up 50% and 56% of respondents, respectively.

Board members Nick Pardue, Paul Diffley, and Julie Vandegrift voted to keep the policy despite the risks. MVUSD students, teachers, and parents will wait with bated breath until the state responds, and our youth will bear the brunt of it.

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Avery Saucier
Avery Saucier, Writer
Hi there! My name is Avery. I'm a journalism major originally from Kingston, Massachusetts. Much of my writing, both formal and informal, focuses on the cultural and sociopolitical changes taking place in the 21st century, especially in today's America. I have some experience writing for a nonprofit organization, and I look forward to continue developing my skills here at the Talon!
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