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Cease and Desist Letter Issued Over School’s Secret Elementary LGBTQ Clubs

A legal challenge on behalf of parents has been issued to Elk Grove Unified School District (EGUSD) concerning at least six LGBTQ lunchtime clubs the district is facilitating in elementary schools.  The National Center for Law & Policy (NCLP) issued a cease and desist letter to EGUSD last week, calling for the immediate and permanent discontinuation of these clubs in all its elementary schools. 

Parents at Pleasant Grove Elementary School (PGES) became aware of a secretive LGBTQ club called “UBU” after their kids came home in January talking about a club invitation they received from third-grade teacher Daniel Bishop. Bishop personally invited all the 3rd through 6th-grade classes to his classroom at lunch, framing the club as a space for “boys who crush on boys” and “girls who crush on girls” and enticing everyone with the promise of fun games. Despite requiring permission slips for other activities like the school’s gardening club, parents were not told anything about this new club.

Upset parents met with the school principal Deidra Wood, EGUSD PreK-6 Education Director Michael Gulden, and Larrah Feliciano, Ed.D., head of EGUSD’s Youth Development Office. Parents were told they should have been notified about the club, but EGUSD’s policy is not to inform parents or obtain their consent for lunchtime activities. School administrators decided to temporarily suspend the club and consult with school attorneys on how it might operate moving forward.

After waiting over a month, 50 parents took their complaints public, showing up at a school board meeting to express their concerns. The story then got national and international attention. CBS Sacramento put together two stories on the same day. A video on the X account, @libsoftiktok received more than 4.5 million views. Fox News even covered the EGUSD board meeting on the show, Jesse Watters Primetime.

Concerned PGES parent Mary Congdon, is particularly upset with the secrecy and the lack of permission slips. “This is a clear violation of our parental rights,” she said.  “Parents decide when to have life-altering discussions with their child. We are the parents. My husband and I reminded our sons that we are their safe space, not the UBU Club. These clubs are too much, too soon for young children.” 

Dean Broyles, the NCLP constitutional attorney who represents the parents, agrees. “Children belong to their parents, not the state,” he said. “Parents have the fundamental constitutional right to direct the education, care, and raising of their children. Elk Grove Unified School District’s process of forming these intentionally covert LGBTQ+ clubs cleverly cloaked merely as an ‘anti-bullying’ effort is unlawful because it violates my clients’ civil rights.”

“The district seems to think it’s appropriate to hide the existence of these sexuality and gender clubs from parents, secretly recruiting their young children to inappropriately discuss sexuality during lunchtime and also pressuring kids to not tell their parents,” Broyles continued. “As a PGES dad who is a police officer pointed out at a recent EGUSD board meeting, this is what groomers do.”   

Broyles letter to the district additionally points to Elk Grove School District’s Youth Development Office showing the district plans to promote LGBTQ ideology to K-12 students. The site promotes Gay Straight Alliance or Genders and Sexualities Alliance (GSA) Clubs, Elementary GSAs called Rainbow Clubs, an LGBTQ+ Youth Summit, an LGBTQ+ Student Advisory Council, LGBTQ+ support services, and more. 

The Youth Development office even offers a flier titled, “Affirming Gender in Elementary School: Social Transitioning,” which encourages teachers to support students on their “gender journey” even if they do not have an “affirming family.” 

Besides the LGBTQ club started at Pleasant Grove Elementary, EGUSD administrators admitted LGBTQ clubs have started in the following elementary schools: Elitha Donner, Florence Markofer, Prairie, John Reith and Stone Lake. 

Markofer Elementary School posted fliers around their school for their lunchtime Rainbow Club, but didn’t mention the club had anything to do with sexual orientation or transgenderism. Instead, the club advertised itself as “A Safe, Healthy Antibully Space for all Children,” and a place for “fun, games, and learning with friends.”  

“Parents must be the ones who decide when to talk to young children about sensitive issues surrounding human sexuality, including sexual orientation and gender identity,” Broyles said. “That is precisely why we submitted a cease and desist letter to EGUSD today demanding the district stop violating my clients’ civil rights and agree to permanently suspend the UBU and Rainbow Clubs at the elementary school level.”

(Read Broyles’s entire cease and desist letter.)

In a show of support for parental rights and to highlight the need for transparency in schools, parents are planning to pull their children out of school on Friday, March 29, 2024, as part of a formal protest. Parents will also email their child’s principal explaining why their child isn’t attending school that day. See the flyer below. 


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