The Clovis, California, school board voted 4-3 on Jan. 27 not to allow boys to wear long hair or earrings in school. The changes to old dress code rules also would have removed wording that says dresses are only worn by girls (video below).
"I’m sick and tired of the ACLU," parent Melissa Fairless told the board, notes The Fresno Bee.
"Because of them, I can have a male come into my daughter’s bathroom," Fairless added. "I’m so tired of my rights and my conservative values being trampled on because of this gender equality. Stand up for what Clovis believes in and say we are going to take this to court and we are going to fight this.”
It's not clear how Fairless' personal rights are being violated, but the town has opened itself up for a lawsuit from the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.
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“This community is being assaulted from afar with what I believe is an overreaching law regarding gender equity," Ginny Hovsepian, a board trustee who voted against the changes, stated.
"I believe it’s un-American to run from a fight for a good cause,” Hovsepian added. “Just because it’s a law doesn’t mean we need to put up with it. If we don’t put up a stand at this point then it’s just one domino after another.”
Abre' Conner, a lawyer for the ACLU, wrote in a Jan. 28 blog posting: "At the school board hearing, one school board member went as far as to say they did not care what the law was."
"Here’s the thing: the state legislature has explicitly identified gender expression as a protected category, and districts must comply. The law exists to maintain a safe learning environment for all students. Students attend school to learn, and not to be suspended or expelled for wearing an earring or not cutting their hair."
"It’s a shame that the Clovis Unified school board refuses to extend to Clovis students their legal right to express themselves. Contrary to the school board’s belief, Clovis students are protected under the California Education Code."
Sources: The Fresno Bee, American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California / Photo credit: Screenshot via The Fresno Bee