Larry Rasmussen, Steve Hopp, Steve Arklin, Bob Kellar, the Rev. Jerry Cook, Brent Braun, and Richard Budman | District Must Protect Parents’ Rights

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor
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The following is a copy of a letter to the board members and Superintendent Mike Kuhlman of the William S. Hart Union High School District. 

The undersigned are all concerned and interested citizens of the Santa Clarita Valley.

We respectfully request each of you as school district board members and as the superintendent of the district to immediately adopt a comprehensive set of written policies, practices, procedures, training programs and compliance controls to address the timely and effective notification of parents and legal guardians regarding their children’s academic, physical, mental and social-emotional issues to ensure parents are an integral part of those decisions before they are made and the proposed actions taken in response.

We further ask that you make this letter in its entirety an attachment to the minutes of your next board meeting so there is a permanent record of our concerns. In addition, we urge you to take whatever legal action(s) are necessary and prudent to ensure the adoption of the matters outlined herein.

Parents, by definition, have the ultimate responsibility to protect the health, welfare and safety of their children. This is an absolute duty that cannot be and should never be delegated or ignored no matter how seemingly well-intentioned non-parents may be. Parental communication and decision making are fundamental to these rights.

It is well-established that custodial parents/guardians have a fundamental constitutional right under the United States Constitution to determine without undue influence or interference by any state or any school district (including its employees and consultants) on how to best raise, nurture and educate their children. That fundamental principle mandates timely and effective parental notification of any actions, intended actions or decisions and behaviors that impact their children, including but not limited to names, gender identification, orientation, scholastic participation, athletic participation, or any other activity whether during school hours or otherwise including extracurricular activities. The approach should be to comprehensively notify parents before such decisions, not after, and it is the responsibility of the school district to ensure consistent compliance with these principles. Parents do not co-parent with the school district or any of its employees or agents.

The district has an affirmative duty to preserve and protect these fundamental rights. Under the Supremacy Clause of the United States Constitution, any state or local laws, rules or regulations are preempted by federal law to the extent such state or local laws, rules and regulations are inconsistent with the provisions of federal law. The school district and its leadership are therefore bound to abide by federal law.

We urge your immediate action including all necessary steps to implement and enforce these principles. 

Larry Rasmussen, Steve Hopp, Steve Arklin,
Bob Kellar, the Rev. Jerry Cook, Brent Braun
and Richard Budman

Santa Clarita

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