By Pat Lynch
On Tuesday night, the Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) had a marathon board meeting that lasted until 1:00 AM Wednesday morning. One notable theme among a handful of public speakers was a pattern of vitriolic attacks against board trustee Sandee Everett.
Those attacks, of course, were to be expected since there was an item on the agenda about pursuing a censure resolution against Everett, based on false reports by trustee Jenny Fitzgerald about Everett’s presentation at an education conference at Godspeak Calvary Chapel in Newbury Park on August 10, 2019. For background please see:
- Video of Sandee Everett’s presentation
- Jenny Fitzgerald’s Facebook rant about that presentation
- My point by point corrections of Fitzgerald’s comments
It was sad to see a few members of the audience making embarrassingly misinformed public comments against Everett. These speakers appeared to only have knowledge of the issue based on Fitzgerald’s misleading Facebook post, and had not made an effort to watch the actual video of Everett’s presentation.
Perhaps the saddest of the public comments were from Jon Cummings and his son, who is transgender. Jon Cummings is the leader of local hate group Indivisible Conejo. Cummings is a professional community organizer who makes his living dividing and disrupting our community with the apparent goal of electing like-minded people to public office. In this last election, he successfully helped elect Jenny Fitzgerald, Cindy Goldberg and Bill Gorback to the CVUSD school board.
It is not surprising that Jon Cummings would come to the board meeting to defend Mrs. Fitzgerald and attack Mrs. Everett. What is troubling is that he would manipulate his own transgender son by feeding him misinformation and having him regurgitate it at the meeting. Cummings’ son attacked Mrs. Everett by saying that she was attacking transgender students by “denying his existence” in her August 10th presentation.
In reality Mrs. Everett did no such thing, as can be seen by a review of her actual presentation. At no time did she deny the existence of transgender kids, or say anything against them. On the contrary, Mrs. Everett has consistently advocated for these students. What she DID say in her presentation is that gender spectrum theory (a world view where there is not just male and female, but infinite genders) is a belief system that is not based in science, but is rather based on feelings and attitudes.
Mrs. Everett has consistently claimed that such beliefs should be respected and supported, but that they should not be forced on others.
No, Sandee Everett Has Never Personally Broken the Brown Act
As he typically does, Cummings the Elder ended his public comments by accusing Everett of breaking the Brown Act, the California open meetings regulation. He is probably referring to the incident in 2016 when not enough copies of Everett’s proposed book policy amendment were placed on the back table. At the time, the District Attorney indicated that this was a Brown Act violation by the entire board, but was minor enough that he did not recommend any remedy. Everett is not personally named as violating the Brown Act. Anyone can confirm this fact by asking the District Attorney.
Apparently the rule is that everyone on the dais is responsible for catching and preventing Brown Act violations, so someone was supposed to have noticed that copies hadn’t been placed on the back table. Making copies and placing them on the back table is not a board duty, but is done by staff. The senior members of the board (Phelps, Connolly and Dunn), in particular, are the trustees most likely to have known about this rule and should have stopped the meeting until copies were placed. No one did. Connolly tweeted about the violation after the meeting, indicating that she may have known that a Brown Act violation was occurring and deliberately chose to let it happen. Regardless, the District Attorney’s office, in their finding letter, indicated that the violation was against the entire board and did not name any individual trustee.
What Happens When Scientific Truth Becomes Politically Inconvenient?
It is becoming sadly apparent that the left does not want people to be allowed to believe that gender is binary – that it is based on a person’s chromosomes and reproductive organs. This, by the way, is how gender is still defined in the Glencoe textbook that is used in CVUSD high school health classes. Are we already at the point where it is considered outrageous and unacceptable to believe our own textbooks because of toxic political correctness? The sad thing is that it is nearly certain that the actual science of this issue will be removed by the Ministry of Truth from the next edition of this textbook – as we race toward an Orwellian dystopia.
Cummings’ son asserted that by believing that gender is binary, Mrs. Everett was denying his existence. This is a strange claim on a number of levels. First, Mrs. Everett never denied anyone’s existence. Second, Mrs. Everett is an advocate for transgender students being able to self-identify as any gender they wish, because she has stated that believes that all students and their beliefs should be respected. Third, it is ironic that he would claim that Mrs. Everett is denying his existence, since he apparently identifies as male, which is one of the traditional binary genders that Mrs. Everett has claimed is consistent with both her scientific and personal religious beliefs. The transition path that he took to become physically male is not particularly relevant here. Male is definitely one of the binary genders.
After the public comments by Cummings’ son, Mrs. Everett protested the manipulation of students by people that deliberately misrepresent her positions to them. Contrary to the reports by a certain local hate blogger, Everett’s comments were clearly directed at Cummings the father, not Cummings the son, as she protested the common practice of lying to students to get them to make inaccurate public comments at board meetings.
Mrs. Everett has never attacked transgender students in any way, but hate groups like Indivisible tell them she has, in order to whip them up into protesting and to use them as political pawns. This sort of manipulation is a form of child abuse and should be condemned by civilized society. People who manipulate minors for their own political purposes should always be called out and held accountable for this unethical practice.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Citizens Journal.
Pat Lynch is a resident of Ventura County