CUSD board bans outside clubs until evening, public argues about transgender policy

Dozens of people lined up Wednesday evening to address the CUSD Board about a transgender notification policy, which the district does not have.

Clovis Unified School District has rescinded a policy that previously allowed external groups to use school facilities through the school day on the basis of preserving campuses for school needs. 

A local LGBT activist, however, says the decision was targeted against his group, which had requested access last year. 


The big picture: During Wednesday’s CUSD School Board Meeting, Superintendent Corrine Folmer said the district gets around 35,000 requests per year to use district facilities. 

  • Under the district’s new rules, any external organizations wanting to use CUSD facilities will not be allowed to meet on campuses until 6 p.m. 
  • That means groups like the Good News Club – an evangelical Christian group – will have to meet at a later time. The Good News Club had requests to meet on several campuses in the afternoon. 
  • Destination Imagination, Girl Scouts and Bricks4kidz are some of the other groups who will also have to find new meeting times. 
  • Fresno City Councilman Mike Karbassi made a request to hold a district meeting at Nelson Elementary School on Sep. 27 from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. He will not be allowed to start the meeting until 6 p.m. 
  • CUSD parent Jason Scott is the executive director of LGBT Community Network. He told McClatchy he made a request of the district to use school facilities for an “inclusive story hour” and has been unable to secure a spot. 
  • Now if an “inclusive story hour” will take place on CUSD campuses, it will have to be after 6 p.m. 

State of play: Along with the decision on barring external groups from campus during the school day, dozens of people addressed the board about a transgender notification policy for parents. 

  • Such a policy, however, was not on the agenda, and the board did not take any action regarding it. 
  • People asked the board to adopt a written transgender notification policy to ensure that parents are notified if their children want to use different pronouns in the classroom. 
  • Many people also spoke in opposition to the hypothetical policy, arguing that students’ rights would be damaged. 
  • California Attorney General Rob Bonta recently sued Chino Valley Unified School District over a transgender notification policy. 

What they’re saying: Regarding the decision to keep outside groups off campus until 6 p.m., Folmer said it is to protect the district’s learning time. 

  • “It is not that our outside groups do not have access to our facilities,” Folmer said. “It is about protecting an instructional day from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., which is when the end of our after school programs finish.”
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