Clovis Unified School District has rescinded a policy that previously allowed external groups to use school facilities through the school day on the basis of preserving campuses for school needs.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