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Placer teachers say that parents rights policies will get overturned by California State AG- then attack school boards – and – the local papers make them heroes

by | Dec 6, 2023 | DCJESD, drag show, Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District, Education, Government, High school, Kids, Mona Dearcos, Parents rights, Placer County, Rocklin Unified School District, RUSD, Travis Mougeotte | 0 comments

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Gold Country Media's current coverage of Rocklin teachers' actions on parents' rights has been sad and misleading. Their coverage reflects a concerning trend in their reporting. Over the past year, community members have been disheartened by the local paper's biased approach to covering various issues.

Earlier this year, Gold Country Media's coverage of the efforts of Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ's was terrible. The church’s mission effort, known as the Landing Spot, created an annual “Youth Drag show” which for the last 3 years was a fundraising tool for high school boys. The Gold Country Media Group’s coverage criticized any group that disagreed with the narrative that having high school boys, dress up as women and dance burlesque-style, on stage, for audience tips, was a way to help LGBTQ high school boys understand their sexual identity. Most people see an exchange of money, for sexually dancing on stage, as objectification.

While the idea that students were being approached by the church, via 10 local high school’s wellness centers (ie. on campus), to be placed on a stage to be sexually objectified to raise money was bad, there were other issues that made the youth drag show worse. One of the main ‘other issues’ was the fact that the schools, and the church, did not require parental notification or consent for student participation in the event. Again, the boys were contacted through the high schools wellness centers on campus.

Parents have a right to concerned about someone talking with their child on campus about dancing for tips.

These critical details were absent from the approximately 10 articles published by Gold Country Media.

The Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD) chose not to participate in this youth drag show event.  Their lack of participation may have led to national, regional, and local media attacks on the board by LGBTQ allies.  Our local paper should be sharing these issues, but they do not seem to be covering them.

The Gold Country Media Group’s slanted coverage of ongoing conflicts between the RUSD board, and LGBTQ allies, like the Rocklin teachers' union is concerning because now teachers are openly attacking the idea parental notification.

Events like the Loomis Basin Congregational United Church of Christ' youth drag show fundraiser created valid concerns in the community. The community's concerns prompted calls for a policy to keep parents informed.

School districts like the RUSD and the Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District chose to create district policies to notify parents of any changes to their child's name or sex in school records.  This is a reasonable request.

However, teachers from both districts are fighting the policy. The coverage that the Gold Country Media Group is providing of the effort is very slanted and supports the teachers. Its an example of poor journalism.

The Gold Country Media’s coverage of the issues in Rocklin clearly favors efforts of the teachers. 

Rocklin teachers’ union president, Travis Mougeotte, who is on video vehemently attacking the RUSD Board’s choice to require employees to share changes to a student’s school record, is being portrayed as a hero.  Rocklin teachers, including Mougeotte, who criticized the board during meetings and vilified community members by assigning them evil motives, are portrayed by the Gold Country Media group as wise defenders of oppressed groups. The Gold Country Media Group’s reporting clearly gives little credit to the people who are working hard to improve the school system if they disagree with the Gold Country Media Group’s narrative.

Local media, and their allies, have emphasized Mougeotte’s claim that the RUSD School Board's actions would lead to costly legal challenges from the State of California’s Attorney General’s office. However, as of November's end, no such challenge has been issued.

Rather than waiting for the promised state action, Rocklin teachers took preemptive measures as Mougeotte attacked the RUSD District through the California Public Employment Relations Board.  Travis Mougeotte is arguing that sharing changes to a student's school record increases the risk of LGBTQ students committing suicide or getting assaulted, and significantly damages the RUSD’s labor contract with its teachers. He is using the teachers’ contract as a legal process to try to block the policy.

The teachers' union makes emotional arguments but offers no concrete data showing increased rates of suicides or assaults to LGBTQ students in Placer County.  Mougeotte and LGBTQ allies state that "anti-LGBTQ" parents will start harming LGBTQ students, but they fail to acknowledge that abusive individuals are inherently abusive. Abusive parents abuse their child and would not need them to come out as LGBTQ to attack them.  Why Gold Country Media has not researched and published the public data on this, or related issues, is another example of their slanted reporting. Not discussing this issue evades the need for teachers, who are mandated by law to report abuse, to report abusive parents as early as possible.

Travis Mougeottee, and the teachers that supported a legal attack on the RUSD, should be the first to face layoffs if the district experiences budget shortfalls.

Importantly, the Gold Country Media has chosen not to publish a review of the Federal caselaw on the issue.

A significant amount of  State and Federal case law has been reviewed as a part of a parent’s rights case bought by the Thomas More Society earlier this year.  While any legal challenges on the parents’ rights issue brought into California State Courts will likely result in an initial loss for any school district, its clear that the Federal Courts cannot rule in favor of ‘California’ style student privacy on this issue.  At a minimum, a government entity cannot call a student by a different name at school and hide that fact from a parent.

The case law and legal precedents on parent child relationships are clear, easy to locate and should have been included the Gold County Media’s coverage of this issue.  Many of them are summed up in the Federal Court Order by U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez in the case of Mirabelli and West v. Escondido Union School District. The court order, can be accessed at via the Justia web site here:

A crisper review of the Federal legal issues that Travis Mougeottee and the California State Attorney General face in changing school district policy (to allow teachers to lie to parents) has been provided by the Thomas Moore Society attorney that litigated the case. A quick review of this litigator’s arguments reminds any reader of the concept of federal law supremacy (over state laws), the case law concerning students' rights and parental involvement in their child’s life, and even some medical arguments that should have been researched and mentioned by the Gold Country Media. The fact that Gold Country did not share these issues proves they are not expecting honest journalism from their reporters.

When Travis Mougeottee, teachers, and their allies lose in the inevitable appeals to Federal Court, will we expect them to pay all the costs associated with their attack?

Local paper contact info below:

The Gold Country Media Group – they own the city papers in Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville, Loomis, and Lincoln.

John Love, Publisher – General Manager

Phone: 916-774-7939


PLEASE call your local teachers’- contact information below:

Rocklin Unified School District | p (916) 624-2428 | Rocklin teacher’s union president’s name is Travis Mougeotte

Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District | Dry Creek’s teacher union presidents name is Mona Dearcos