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California Bill Seeks To Fine, Jail Critics Of Teachers Instructing Students On Gender Ideology

'Teachers Are Being Intimidated And Harassed For Doing Their Jobs'

A California State Senator introduced a bill seeking to criminalize criticism of teachers instructing students about gender ideology.

California State Senator Anthony J. Portantino is seeking to remedy “teachers facing harassment” for teaching gender ideology and is aiming to “provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students and teachers.”

In a press release, the state senator detailed two of his bills which have been approved by the Senate Education Committee.

“Teachers are being intimidated and harassed for doing their jobs,” stated Portantino. “SB 596 will ensure that educators can safely continue to be educators, helping their students thrive unencumbered by fear and intimidation.”

“I am very grateful to the teachers in my district for their commitment to our children and for bringing the need for this bill to my attention.”

SB 596 would make subjecting school employees to “threats or harassment” for reasons related to their official duties while they are away from a school site or after school hours a misdemeanor.

The press statement refers to a California elementary school teacher who was transferred to a different school site after reported safety concerns and threats for discussing LGBTQ Pride Month.

The press release further cites teacher harassment in off-campus settings and social media platforms along with school sites.

Violators will be punished by fines of $500, but no more than $1,000, or by imprisonment in a county jail not exceeding one year, or by both imprisonment and fine, according to the bill’s text.

“Across the country, educators are facing an eminent threat against our profession and our livelihoods,” stated Glendale Unified School District teacher Patrick Davarhanian. “There is a calculated effort by radical extremists to ban books in our libraries, censor classes that teach accurate and honest history, and harass educators in the process. These extremist elements are targeting the core tenants of inclusive public education and using threats of violence to achieve their means. We must stand with our educators, protect our students, and defend public education.”

“Having worked in the field of education for over a decade, we have faced many challenges to our profession,” said Gagik Galfayan, a teacher in the Glendale Unified School District. “But no challenge has been greater than the threats of violence educators are receiving as a result of an outpouring of hate and intolerance. Educators are committed to teaching honest, accurate history, and fostering inclusive classrooms. With continued support from our communities and the leadership of trusted public servants, we are confident that our pledge to educate our youth and prepare them for the future will be fulfilled.”

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