Parents Beat Back Planned Parenthood-Trained “Wellness Center” in CA Public School

Parents in Norwalk-La Mirada made sure that their school officials -- and the public -- got the message.

By Published on July 9, 2024

Norwalk and La Mirada are adjoining suburbs of Los Angeles. The Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District (NLMUSD) serves mostly minority families.

In July 2021, the school board signed a three-year agreement with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to have a “wellbeing center” at the district’s John Glenn High School, funded by federal grant money. The agreement expired in June 2024, at which time the school board would need to reapprove it – or else the center would close.

The push for “wellbeing centers” is part of a larger, leftist federal agenda to turn schools into community and mental health centers while cutting out parents.

John Glenn High School in Norwalk, California, was the center of attention.

Local parents began to discover that these “wellbeing” centers are a nightmare. The one in NLMUSD was staffed by people trained by Planned Parenthood. Students were given access to a range of birth control tools (by so-called “trusted adults”) and referred to abortion providers and transgender sex-change clinics. There was “mental health” counseling by people with questionable credentials — including students who were recruited and paid to “counsel” other students. Parental consent was not required for any of this.

The school board members were open about their personal support for the Wellbeing Center. The chairman at that time was particularly passionate about it, saying that he could see how it might help even his own children.

This was extremely upsetting to parents whose children were being affected. And the school district was dishonest about the true nature of these clinics, so most of the community had no idea what was happening. Parents felt helpless.

Parents Begin Fighting Back

This mother described how one girl recorded the wellbeing staff referring her to Planned Parenthood for the Plan B pill. “What about the side effects?” the mother asked the board.

In May 2023, local parents reached out to MassResistance. Our national field director, Arthur Schaper (who lives in Los Angeles County), helped them organize and spread the word about what was going on. The local Norwalk-La Mirada MassResistance team began protesting relentlessly at the school board meetings; the board members were not pleased because the parents kept coming and refused to quit.

The leftists in the area were infuriated that parents were standing up to their Wellbeing Center, and launched campaigns to intimidate and demonize them in the community.

The Hostile Press

Local newspapers smeared and defamed our activists, publishing numerous slanted articles portraying the parents as misinformed and accusing them of lying to the school board and the public. They claimed that the Wellbeing Center was only about providing services for troubled teens. One liberal newspaper even described Schaper as a “white supremacist.”

Pro-LGBT PTA Leader

The president of the local Parent Teachers Association (PTA) – who has a “transgender” daughter – was featured in a prominent newspaper article saying that the Wellbeing Center is strongly needed as a “safe space” for children like hers.

The school board attempted to silence testimony on the Wellbeing Center, announcing that only testimony on “current business” would be allowed and no signs could be brought in – and the members brought the school district’s attorney and police to the meeting to enforce that edict. But Schaper cited state law to the contrary, the parents refused to be silent, and the school officials were forced to back down.

The school board also tried to quell outrage by surveying parents’ and students’ opinions about the Wellbeing Center. The survey “miraculously” showed great approval for it — but the methods used were shamefully unscientific. None of the questions included any reference to parents’ complaints. And suspiciously, the surveys given to the students could not be seen by the public (or by parents).

Misleading “Fact Sheet”

The school board’s attorney stands in the doorway of a meeting, telling parents what they aren’t allowed to discuss. 

The school board attempted to answer parents’ complaints with a “Fact Sheet” about the Wellbeing Center, which it published earlier in the year. But the fact sheet was misleading. For example, it correctly said that the Wellbeing Center does not “perform abortions,” but failed to mention staffers did (as parents have seen) refer girls to abortion clinics. It also stated that the board had rejected the requirement for Planned Parenthood be present at the school, but the Wellbeing Center staffers were all trained by Planned Parenthood.

None of the leftist attempts to attack parents or discredit their position on the Wellbeing Center had much effect in the Norwalk-La Mirada community. In fact, as the word got out, the opposition to the Wellbeing Center increased substantially.

Churches Jump on Board

In early December 2023, a few Catholic Churches – St. Linus and St. John of God in Norwalk, and St. Paul of the Cross Church in La Mirada – offered to spread the word about the student Wellbeing Center and our activists’ ongoing protests. One of the pastors even made announcements from the pulpit.

A local custodians’ union admitted we were being effective. Early in 2024, one of the union reps told us that, in her opinion, we had been so effective in getting the word out about the student “wellbeing” center that parents were pulling their children out of the district’s schools.

Over the last few months, our activists also have canvassed the neighborhoods around John Glenn High School, urging residents to contact the school district officials and urge them to shut down the Wellbeing Center. The reception we received was very positive. Many residents were completely unaware of the Wellbeing Center and were grateful for MassResistance’s outreach.

Success

All that pressure on the reluctant school officials finally paid off. In mid-June, the principal of John Glenn High School sent an email to the staff saying the agreement with the Wellbeing Center would not be renewed. And sure enough, during the two school board meetings in June, there was no action to renew the agreement. On June 30 it officially expired. School officials have privately admitted they had no interest in continuing this fight.

The two key elements in pro-family battles like this are perseverance and intelligent tactics. Unfortunately, most conservative groups give up too soon, and do not use effective tactics and strategy.

The Left can seem immovable, throwing obstructions, roadblocks, and intimidation at everyone who challenges its agenda. But if you do the right things, you can find a way to win!

 

Copyright 2024 MassResistance. Republished with permission.

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