The case arose after the superintendent and school board president of the San Jose Unified School District blocked the mom’s request that the board vote on diversifying a pro-gay “Rainbow Day” held at her child’s middle school. The parent felt that the focus was not inclusive and ignored the most common roots of bullying.
Pacific Justice Institute filed suit because state law allows citizens to place items on school board agendas that are directly related to school business. “That did not happen here,” noted Kevin Snider, PJI’s chief counsel, who will argue the case Thursday. “Under the law, board members can vote any way they choose, but a superintendent cannot veto a proposal at the front end of the process by preventing the board from having a chance to look at the item.”
Last year, a San Jose Superior Court judge sided with the school district but did not offer a written explanation for his decision. However, the superintendent and board president claimed in court that the school board does not have jurisdiction to modify an all-day event taking place at one of its schools.
“All along the way, these school officials have shirked their responsibility to parents,” said Brad Dacus, president of PJI. “We are hopeful the Court of Appeal will enforce the laws that the board president and superintendent are pretending do not exist.”
PJI appreciates the valuable assistance provided in the trial court phase of this case by affiliate attorney Christopher Mays of San Jose.