EASTVALE, Calif. — A middle school student was recently reprimanded by her principal for distributing flyers that warned her peers about California’s newly enacted ‘bathroom bill,’ which allows male students who identify as females to use the girls’ restroom and vice versa.
According the reports, the eighth grader, named Caylin, took 18 flyers to her Corona-Norco-area middle school on the morning of October 21st, and handed them out to her peers near the lunch room. As she distributed the information well before the start of school—approximately 7:00 a.m.—she was approached by a security officer who asked her if she was responsible for the literature.
When Caylin acknowledged that she indeed had been sharing the flyers with students, she was told to report to the principal’s office.
Caylin’s principal then informed her that it was against the law to distribute the flyers. He then asked who had told her to hand out the information. Caylin replied that it was her own idea, as she had heard about the matter at church.
“[Your church] should be ashamed for making you do this,” the principal remarked, according to the girl.
But Caylin reiterated that her church did not make her do anything, and that she rather came up with the idea by herself. The principal then warned that the eighth grader could face consequences if any parents contacted the school to complain about the literature that she had distributed. Reports also suggest that the school advised that it requires 24-hour advance notice when a student intends to engage in free speech activity, such as leafleting.
However, Caylin’s parents contacted the Christian legal organization Advocates for Faith and Freedom, headquartered in Murrieta. In turn, an attorney with the group sent a letter to the principal and district superintendent, urging officials to allow Caylin to distribute the flyers and noting the constitutional infirmities with the school policy. He warned that legal action could be taken if the correspondence was ignored.
On Tuesday, the district responded to the letter, allowing Caylin to again distribute literature about the new law at school. She says she intends to continue to share her message with peers.
“Censorship of a student based on a ‘24 hour’ notice requirement is unconstitutional,” stated Advocates for Faith and Freedom attorney Robert Tyler. “Students have the right to express their opinions on controversial subjects, and even warn other students of new laws that threaten their personal privacy.”
As previously reported, this past August, California Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 1266 into law—a bill that allows boys who identify as girls to use girls’ bathrooms at school, and vice versa. California legislators overwhelmingly approved the “Bathroom Bill” in the House and Senate, even though the bill’s author—Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano—admitted that the new measures would “perhaps” make some children “uncomfortable.”
“I don’t want to minimize that,” Ammiano said, according to the BBC, “but new experiences are often uncomfortable. That can’t be an excuse for prejudice.”
However, Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute, told Christian News Network that the enforcement of AB 1266 will lead to instances of “extreme violation of [students’] privacy,” with “horrendous” mental and emotional ramifications.
Caylin’s mother, Christy, agreed.
“All parents of public school students should be outraged at this bill,” she stated in a news release issued by Advocates for Faith and Freedom. “I was very surprised when the school wanted to silence my daughter rather than let her be a voice for herself and all students whose privacy is being threatened by this bill.”