'Parents' Rights' advocates earn a victory in ongoing battle with Elk Grove Unified Schools

Elk Grove Unified School District trustee Carmine Forcina. | 

Even though they may not have been in attendance as the Elk Grove Unified School District Board of Trustees concluded its meeting, so-called 'parental rights' advocates earned a victory during the Tuesday, June 13 meeting. The victory came in the form of having a staff presentation on parental rights' placed on a future meeting agenda after a request by Trustee Carmine Forcina. 

The request was made during the discussion of future agenda items. Forcina noted he made a similar request at the previous trustee meeting, and his intentions may have been misunderstood.

Forcina did not say he supported the scores of speakers criticizing several books in school libraries during the last school year. Those speakers have demanded the removal of certain books from district school libraries and criticism of the district's adopted sex education curriculum in the context of parental rights while quoting Biblical passages.

"Given that this is difference of understanding with respect to 'parental rights,' I request that the board of education have an agenda item in which it receives a report on existing ed code language with respect to parents rights," Forcina said. "And include within that report any pertinent court cases that affirm the education code statements."

The board approved the requests, with Trustees Nancy Chaires Espinoza, Katherine Albiani, and Michael Vargas voting to deny. 

In the national discussion of book bans and other public school culture wars, the term "parents' rights" is frequently invoked. Parents opposing the teaching of critical race theory or pushing book bans from school libraries often use the term to pressure school districts. 

A 2021 piece by Fox News Contributor Juan Williams opined that 'parents' right' is code for white race politics. Williams noted that while campaigning for Virginia governor, Glenn Youngkin effectively used the term as a dog whistle appeal to white voters.

Watch Forcina's commentary in the video below. 

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