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Guardian Responds to Superintendent’s Smears

Joel Kilpatrick
Joel Kilpatrick
Joel Kilpatrick is a writer and journalist.

To the Conejo Valley community,

In response to the Conejo Guardian’s story, “Third-grade teacher promotes gender confusion in classroom,” CVUSD Superintendent Mark McLaughlin emailed a response apparently to all CVUSD parents and employees in which he resorted to bluster and slander because the facts are entirely against him. McLaughlin did not even attempt to argue that the Guardian article is incorrect in any particular.

We challenge McLaughlin to point to any inaccuracy or error in our article, or in any article the Guardian has published about CVUSD. We call on McLaughlin to cease and desist making baseless statements, and retract his comments, or we will bring legal action against him personally and in his capacity as CVUSD superintendent.

The facts of the story stand undisputed: A Maple Elementary third-grade teacher (whose name we elected not to publish in this first article) presented a girl student to the class as a boy with a new name (we elected not to publish the child’s “new” name), then showed a video promoting “trans-genderism” called, “Call Me Max.”

As stated in the article, the Guardian sought comment from the principal, Patty Lewis, and the Parent Faculty Association and received no response from either.

The article came about because a concerned father of a child in this third-grade class was so troubled that this had happened without parent permission or notification that he attended and spoke at a CVUSD school board meeting. He requested to speak with board members, but they would not contact him. Principal Patty Lewis and the third-grade teacher were similarly dismissive, according to this father, which led him to approach the Conejo Guardian. After verifying what had happened, we published an accurate story which McLaughlin has not sought to challenge directly because it is true and factual.

Perhaps more importantly, McLaughlin’s letter marks a turning point for CVUSD schools. The Superintendent declares publicly, in his own words, that all students in every grade level, in any class in any CVUSD school can at any time be taught “trans-genderism” for the sake of “inclusion” — and parents don’t need to be notified that this is happening. This is coming from the primary public servant over the area’s public schoolchildren.

McLaughlin’s tenure as superintendent has been marked by soaring salaries for himself and other administrators, plummeting enrollment, stagnant test scores and the aggressive introduction of viewpoints on sexuality and racism many parents find offensive. Perhaps McLaughlin will, with similar vigor, address those problems and concerns to a wide audience.

As to what McLaughlin says was vandalism at Maple Elementary, we would ask: Does the school have video surveillance? We demand that he release it. Does the school have security guards? Does McLaughlin have any information about who did this, and will he release all the information he has?

Further, does McLaughlin intend to force CVUSD schools to allow biological males to have full access to women’s restrooms, locker rooms and showers? Will this apply to all grade levels? Does he intend to create and enforce a policy to discipline or correct students who use another student’s or teacher’s wrong name or “pronoun”?

In the case of Maple Elementary, will the third-grade female student who now “identifies” as a boy be allowed to use the boys’ restroom? What will happen to students who fail to use this student’s new name or acknowledge her “change of gender”? We call on McLaughlin to make clear and public statements for parents regarding CVUSD’s policy about students, teachers, staff members and coaches who choose a “different gender,” and how this will affect how school communities function under his leadership.

We again challenge McLaughlin or any CVUSD leader to refute the facts of our article. If they cannot, we demand that for the sake of integrity McLaughlin send an email to the same constituency acknowledging his misleading statements and apologizing to the Conejo Guardian for baseless accusations and a lack of integrity.


  1. I read Mark’s letter expecting to hear details about how the article “got it wrong”. He was intentionally vague and misleading, claiming the article was fake news without any evidence or specific clarifications. It’s concerning that the vandalism occurred, but that doesn’t excuse the teaching of ideas and values we don’t share without parental consent. Our kids are not your Guinea pigs.

  2. Anyone telling a young child who has not even reached puberty yet that they can be the opposite sex they are is discrimination against that child. A female can not be a male because someone told her it’s ok to think that way. It’s manipulation, discrimination and disinformation. Why tell a girl she is not perfectly fine and normal being a little girl? Why encourage something that is not true. Why teach improper grammar using “singular” for they? There is no such thing.

  3. Bravo!!!!! Thank you for standing up to these indoctrination dealers. It’s invigorating seeing people finally have a backbone and not cower to the accusations. Now look into bondsforthewin.com and go after them to the full extent.

  4. This sounds like a case for BondsForTheWin.com. Once the Superintendent is put on notice that he is in violation of his public oath of office, as well as violations of the Education Code, we can go after his Surety Bond. That is the only thing that will make him acquiesce.


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