At the Kern County Board of Education meeting on May 9, teachers and students joined the Dolores Huerta Foundation to oppose Kern County School Board’s letter to the governor threatening the implementation of the Menstrual Equity Act For All. The letter is an anti-student, misguided effort that is more political posturing than practical.
The controversy started when the Kern County Board began a debate during its April 11 meeting regarding the Menstrual Equity Act. After discussion, a resulting majority vote of board members approved the drafting of a letter denouncing the governor for signing the bill into law.
One of the justifications used during the debate was that the current board only hears from folks opposed to implementing these requirements; implying if they were to hear from community members who support the inclusivity of these changes, they may reconsider this letter.
Taking up the challenge in May, students and teachers organized in partnership with the Dolores Huerta Foundation to pack the board meeting and speak in opposition during public comment or on the agenda item – and to oppose the board’s policy to attack the law.
In its comments, the Dolores Huerta Foundation expressed its disappointment in the Kern County Board of Education’s decision to renounce laws such as the Menstrual Equity for All Act; a law that provides protections for the health and safety of all students. Youth, staff, and parental rights groups have been under attack for months, and the decision to denounce laws that support them only enflames the issue. The Dolores Huerta Foundation values gender justice and believes in the social, economic, and political equality of all.
Community members and allies joined the Foundation’s vocal effort to stand against bigotry and discrimination in Kern County schools. Teacher and student allies spoke clearly in the demand for the Kern County Board of Education to support the law.
Megan Harwell, Secretary of Kern County Education Association explained;
“As public school teachers, we proudly serve every student that walks through our classroom doors. Let’s promote policies that secure student success and not undermine it.”