55.1 F
Thousand Oaks

City of Thousand Oaks Approved $705,000 To Construct Gender-Mixing Restrooms at Local Schools

Tucked away in an otherwise noncontroversial “project list,” the City of Thousand Oaks approved in January 2024 a huge $705,000 contribution specifically to build gender-mixing restrooms in Conejo Valley Unified Schools. The money came directly from local property tax revenue.

Source: City of Thousand Oaks agenda for the January 16, 2024, Council meeting.

The project item was all but invisible in the staff report, which listed project items as “a district-wide Tesla renewable energy project, various safety-security projects, all access restrooms, painting, track repairs, café-library renovations modular buildings leases, and annual contributions to the track and field trusts at each of the three high schools for future projects.”

The term “all-access restrooms” suggests to many people an ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) requirement, but in fact, “all-access restrooms” has nothing to do with the ADA. Rather, it is the State-approved nomenclature for gender-mixing restrooms, which allows men, girls, boys and women to use the same restrooms at the same time in any setting from Kindergarten to 12th grade in all local public schools.

Forty-three percent of the $1.6 million the City gave to CVUSD for projects this year will go to building gender-mixing restrooms.

CVUSD has aggressively pushed to build gender-mixing restrooms at all of its school campuses, using Measure I funds. Drew Pletcher, chair of the Measure I Bond Oversight Committee, said that construction of such a restroom at Newbury Park High School would begin in February and conclude before the end of the school year, allowing boys and girls to use toilets in the same restroom, at the same time. Thousand Oaks and Westlake high schools are beginning construction on their gender-mixing bathrooms. Elementary campuses will soon have shared boy-girl restrooms as well.

The $705,000 support from the City is 43 percent of the $1,634,722 the City gave to CVUSD for projects this year, meaning nearly half the City’s annual support of local schools will go to building gender-mixing restrooms. The next-largest item was “Safety-Security Gates” for $275,000.

The staff report did not note that “all access restrooms” had a much higher price tag than any other item on the list, and the controversial item was not discussed by Council members.

Responding on behalf of City councilmembers, Alexandra South, strategic communications and public affairs director, wrote: “The City of Thousand Oaks simply administers TOPASS (Thousand Oaks Plan to Assist School Sites) as a pass through per terms of redevelopment agency dissolution agreement + ensures the money was spent on school district sites. The City Council plays absolutely no role in determining projects.”

“And when girls get sexually assaulted, the school will be liable. It’s like these [people] have no understanding of teens. Zero.”

— X user post

When asked if councilmembers have the discretion to vote “no” on project items or on the TOPASS funding, South replied: “The Council has to vote to approve the funding distribution. They do not vote on the projects themselves; the school district provides those to demonstrate the requirement that the funding be spent on school sites. As long as that requirement is met, the funding is distributed.”

Additionally, she answered: “The Council has no discretion over the capital improvement projects that are done. Procedurally, there could be a ‘no’ vote on a single consent item, but failure to fulfill the funding when the requirements are met (demonstrating the projects are done on school property) would violate the TOPASS agreement.”

Meanwhile, social media exploded with outrage over the news that restrooms accommodating multiple male and female students and staff members at the same time are being built at area schools.

On Facebook, the Guardian’s story quickly went viral, especially in the Hispanic community.

“[T]hat’s crazy, if I was in school still, I wouldn’t be able to ever use the bathroom.”

Donna on Facebook

“YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME?????” wrote Anna in a post.

“Can we just stand up & stop this BS already?” wrote Dianna.

“Wow, I can’t believe parents couldn’t halt this,” wrote Shalimar. “What a terrible idea! I don’t even like the Gender neutral bathrooms that are in many public places now. But in schools?? This is so not a good idea!!”

To quell opposition, the California Department of Education recently issued an explanatory document about “all-access restrooms,” which read, “[S]chools struggle with providing a safe and inclusive experience, especially for transgender and non-binary students. Many schools have begun to move away from single-user toilets in favor of dedicating a segment or segments of their restrooms as multi-user all-gender toilet facilities.”

The State’s guidance continued, “Traditional school restrooms are … designated separately for boys and girls. … An all-access restroom is not gendered — all students may access and use the facility.”

Under the subtitle, “Rationale for All-Access Restroom Facilities Planning and Design Guidance,” the Department continued: “Being able to access restrooms safely and without fear of shame or stigma affects student health, learning, attendance, and school climate for all students. Some school districts are responding to student needs by creating all-access restroom facilities that are designed to be inclusive of all genders.”

The document quoted “Benjamin K.,” a “Trans Educator,” as saying, “Consistent access to safe bathrooms at school is an education equity/education justice issue. I spent years making myself sick — either from anxiety about having to choose which bathroom to use, or from refusing to use the bathroom at all and suffering from chronic infections — because there was nowhere at school where I could safely go for fear of bullying or harassment. This work is life saving for students who have been suffering in traditionally gendered systems for so long.”

Redwood Middle School began construction of gender-mixing restrooms this March. Construction drawings are being drafted now at Conejo Elementary, where there is a dual-language academy offering instruction in both English and Spanish and where enrollment is 81 percent Hispanic. It is the first Conejo Valley elementary school to have gender-mixing restrooms forced upon it. The remaining elementary campuses are also being forced to construct gender-mixing restrooms, whose plans are now in the design phase.

Meanwhile, parents on social media continue to condemn CVUSD for pushing shared restrooms on children.

“Won’t be a month, before we hear about a girl getting sexually assaulted in the bathroom,” wrote Christy on Facebook.

In reply, Lori wrote, “[E]xactly! You don’t think little [boys] will be looking over the stalls? Liberals have absolutely lost their minds.”

Donna replied, “[T]hat’s crazy, if I was in school still I wouldn’t be able to ever use the bathroom. I would be too nervous with boys.”

Kim joined in to say, “Bad idea. But one good thing is that that will not be ALL the bathrooms in the schools. They will have other bathrooms available to them. They have a choice.”

To which Lori replied, “If they’re remodeling the existing bathrooms then eventually they won’t have a choice. Very upsetting since I will have granddaughters in the school system one day.”

“Why do we need to spend money on this?” asked Deserie.

“What the actual …!!” wrote Barbara. “Have you all gone mad?”

Shellie replied, “yes they have.”

“Disgusting! Where are the parents!?” asked Becky.

“Time to home school,” wrote Cheri.

“This is beyond disturbing,” wrote Janelle. “Talk about a disaster waiting to happen.”

“And when girls get sexually assaulted the school will be liable,” commented Emily. “It’s like these ppl [people] have no understanding of teens. Zero.”

At X, formerly Twitter, the emotional outflow was similar.

“Every parent in Conejo Valley needs to step up to the plate and stop this ASAP!!!!” wrote one user.

“What could possibly go wrong with this?” asked QueenEmyB.

“[S]o glad we got out,” said Seppie.

“Homeschool,” another user announced.

“You might as well start calling them rape rooms, because that’s what they’ll become,” wrote another X user.

The obscure but important Thousand Oaks Plan to Assist School Sites (TOPASS) began as a redevelopment partnership between the City of Thousand Oaks and CVUSD in 1984. While technical changes were made in 2012, the TOPASS Agreement still provides that “five percent of the local property tax increment revenue generated by redevelopment will be made available to assist CVUSD with capital projects at designated tributary schools,” read the City’s staff report. It continued, “In keeping with the parameters of the TOPASS Agreement, CVUSD continues to provide the City with an annual list of future projects for City Council approval.”

The $705,000 contribution by the City towards these restrooms was passed on the Consent Calendar. Consent items are defined as those “that do not require significant reporting and/or discussion for decision or considered to be routine.”

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

2 COMMENTS

  1. Does this new bowel evacuation standard operating procedure extend to CVUSD and TOCC officials, executives, staff and administration? Adults normally pilot new social standards before rolling them out on children. So, why the deviation from the norm? Where is this abnormal school restroom usage in practice?

  2. This is ridiculous! Stop allowing our children to suffer at the hands of other peoples mental illnesses. CHILDREN do not know what they want or who they are stop feeding into what the media is telling them to be because it will make them feel more accepted or favorable! Their is no strong values being held by the school board— when they see the student rate drop and homeschooling become more favorable they shouldn’t ask why, this is a direct attack on our children and their well-being, did anyone ask our children who aren’t dealing with a personality crisis if they would be comfortable using the same restroom as the opposite sex?? Why are we allowing this??

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related

Latest