Sonja Shaw, the president of Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) in Southern California, has received death threats over a parental notification policy the school board passed on July 20. Authorities have arrested at least one person in connection with the threats.
The policy requires school officials to inform a student’s parents within three days if the student asks to identify as any gender “other than the student’s biological sex or gender listed on the student’s birth certificate or any other official records.” Critics call it a “forced outing” policy, claiming it will force queer and transgender children to come out to their parents before they are ready.
In an interview on “Washington Watch with Tony Perkins,” Shaw revealed that the day after the policy was passed, CVUSD received a phone call in which the caller threatened to kill Shaw by dismembering her. When she “finally had the courage” to check her district email, she had received messages threatening her life, her children and her pets. “They would even name what kind of animals I had,” she remarked.
Shaw was also notified that people affiliated with Antifa had posted, “We declare war on Sonja Shaw” on their website. They also shared her home address. She has received threats saying, “We know where you sleep.”
As police investigated the original phone call, they uncovered additional malicious messages and social media content from multiple suspects, including 52-year-old Rebecca Morgan. Morgan was taken into custody Aug. 1 and awaits her court date. Police continue to investigate the threats and have taken measures to protect Shaw and her family.
During the heated July 20 school board meeting, Shaw ordered multiple attendees to remove themselves due to outbursts. Opponents to the policy waved pride flags and signs, vehemently speaking out against the policy, while supporters praised Shaw and the board for seeking to protect children from radical gender ideology, some even boldly declaring the Gospel during their limited time to speak. After over four hours, the policy passed with a 4-1 vote.
Tony Thurmond, California’s superintendent of public instruction, attended the meeting and spoke against the policy, stating that nearly half of LGBTQ+ identifying students are considering suicide. He claimed the policy may put students at risk because “they may not be in homes where they can be safe.”
When Thurmond’s one minute was up, Shaw stated, “We’re here because of people like you. You’re in Sacramento, proposing things that pervert children. … You are the very reason why we’re in this.”
Thurmond attempted to argue against Shaw, but Shaw quickly cut him off, stating, “This is not your meeting. You may have a seat, because if I did that to you in Sacramento, you would not accept it. … You will not bully us here in Chino.”
Shaw stated during the “Washington Watch” interview that California Gov. Gavin Newsom had sent Thurmond in an attempt to intimidate the board. She claimed that sending Thurmond was proof of Newsom fueling the hatred against the CVUSD for their conservative views.
The new policy requires written parental notification if a student requests to be called by a name other than his or her legal name, to change pronouns, to change any information in school records, to participate in opposite-sex sports or activities or to use opposite-sex bathrooms or changing rooms. Additionally, it requires parental notification in the event of injury to a student, any statement or threat regarding suicidal intent from a student, or if any bullying involving a student is reported or suspected.
“God’s providing a way and the people, and I am 100% grateful for that,” Shaw said. “God reminded me that these are the people that are after our children, and this is something that is way beyond me being able to be bold and courageous, and I just have to trust that I’m going to be protected.”
She added: “My daily prayer is for those to be revealed, exposed and removed that don’t have the best intentions and that have ill intent for children. And, unfortunately, it takes a little bit of enduring some hard times for those things to happen.”
Above: Board president Sonja Shaw, third from right, looks on as board clerk Andrew Cruz reads from an LGBTQ book during the July 20 meeting.
Photo: Jake Lee Green/ZUMA Press/Alamy Stock Photo