Two proposed resolutions for traditional titles were failed
PASO ROBLES — A revised resolution was brought forward in the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 13, regarding the use of traditional titles within the district.
During the Aug. 23 board meeting, trustees approved “Resolution No. 23-02 Regarding the Use of Traditional Titles” with a 4-3 vote (trustees Nathan Williams, Tim Gearhart, and Lance Gannon voting no).
It was believed by some that the approved resolution was not inclusive, prompting to bring forward a revised one. Williams’ revised resolution states:
WHEREAS, the Paso Robles Joint Unified School District Guiding Principles Mission states, “Our mission is to deliver an exemplary education in a safe environment which empowers students with the skill, knowledge, and attitudes necessary for success in an ever-changing world.”
WHEREAS, this resolution does not compel speech nor restrict freedom of speech.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, in line with its goal to treat all persons with respect and dignity, supports the use of any titles and pronouns, whether gender or non-gender specific, traditional or non-traditional, that aligns with each individual’s identity. The Paso Robles Joint Unified School District hereby affirms support of all those that are entrusted to its guidance, care, instruction and protection and will strive to do so without prejudice or indifference.
Later in the meeting “supports” was amended to say “will not restrict.”
Before discussing the revised resolution, Superintendent Curt Dubost said, “I personally believe that if we could craft a resolution that was more inclusive and positive rather than exclusionary, that would be preferable.”
During the Aug. 23 meeting, Williams stated he would vote no on the resolution because he felt it was too exclusive as it was written.
On this Tuesday night’s meeting, Williams addressed the room, saying, “I brought this forward myself, believing this was something important to voice.”
He continued, “I am bringing this resolution forward as an opportunity to not only be inclusive of all but to reaffirm our efforts in adhering to what is already state law and in our district administrator regulations.”
Trustee Dorian Baker made her statement to the board as to why she would not be supporting the newly drafted resolution: “It is difficult to believe that we have come from that absolute, unyielding adherence to legal identity to where we are now advocating for children to proclaim their preferred titles and pronouns as they walk into a class and in so doing pretend to be something they are not and requiring others to play along.”
Trustee Frank Triggs proposed another amendment to the proposed resolution.
Paso Robles Joint Unified School District, in line with its goal to treat all persons with respect and dignity, hereby affirms support of all those that are entrusted to its guidance, care, instruction and protection and will strive to do so without prejudice or indifference.
There was some debate between Triggs and Williams on their resolutions.
“I am in favor of a resolution that says everybody is going to be treated equally and with respect, and that is what my amendment will do,” explained Triggs.
Williams countered with, “I genuinely do respect very much the points that you’re making. I am going to stand by this because I feel that it’s important, that whether we agree with it or not that this does support both.”
Triggs’ motion failed with a 2-4 vote, Baker and Triggs the only two voting yes.
Williams resolution also failed, but with a tie with Gearhart, Williams, and Arend voting yes.
With no decision being made on the resolution, trustees moved forward with the night’s agenda items. This means the resolution approved on Aug. 23 still stands.
The next PRJUSD meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m.