Clovis Unified repeals policies negatively affecting teachers and students

After more than six months of talks and over a year since the initial policy changes, the Association of Clovis Educators (ACE) and the district reached an agreement to modify the “Student Site Plan” and the “Controversial Issues and Personal Items” policies in a manner that complies with the law.

The district issued guidance on the Controversial Issues and Personal Items policy to offer clarity without altering the policies themselves. It clarifies that items in classrooms can be categorized as Classroom Items or Personal Items, with Personal Items including those reflecting personal interests, culture, or religious beliefs, such as college, athletics, flags, and the arts. Personal Items can be displayed as long as they do not disrupt the learning environment. The district acknowledged that personal interest items may include a Pride Flag, and teachers should display personal items separately from classroom items, typically around their desk, without interfering with teaching. Other employees can also display personal items in proportionate workspaces.

Regarding the Student Site Plan, the district now allows all students to access programs and facilities aligned with their gender identity, even if they fear parental involvement. While the plan encourages parental participation, it can proceed with supportive staff if a student expresses concerns about their physical or emotional well-being if parents are involved.

Student input was gathered on the revised Student Site Plan and it was found that students were extremely satisfied with the changes, including the removal of a parent notification practice and the option for a documented plan with safeguards consistent with the previous Gender Acknowledgement Plan.

ACE noted their pride in these policies and the collaborative effort that went into achieving them. Educator input is crucial in developing effective policies that address everyone’s concerns and needs. Active involvement of educators in the policy-making process ensures policies are not only effective but also inclusive and respectful. This approach is essential as it gives educators a legitimate voice and a seat at the table in shaping policies that impact them and their students.


In October and November 2022, Clovis Unified School district revised its Board Policy regarding Controversial Issues and introduced a new policy concerning personal items. This policy prohibited the display of personal items reflecting “politics, religion, social movements, and/or personal ethics.”

District staff shall not display personal items reflecting politics, religion, social movements, and/or personal ethics, except in a District staff’s personal space that is not in plain view of other individuals. The display of any items in workspaces is considered District speech and may be regulated in accordance with this board policy.

Board Policy No. 4119.25, 4219.25, 4319.25

Upon its adoption, the Association of Clovis Educators (ACE) voiced concerns about the policy’s broadness and potential to restrict protected speech, disrupt the learning environment, and discriminate against specific groups. They communicated these concerns to the Superintendent in a formal letter.

Subsequently, it came to light that the policy was being selectively enforced to remove LGBTQ+ pride flags from classrooms. Numerous teachers reported inconsistent enforcement and lack of clear guidance. In response, ACE sent a follow-up letter to the Superintendent, highlighting concerns about discrimination, harm to students and staff, and potential legal violations.

Shortly after the enactment of the Board Policy, the district administration replaced the Gender Acknowledgement Plan with the School Site Plan, which mandated parental notification for transgender or non-binary students accessing gender-affirming programs and facilities. This change diverged from previous practices aligned with state and federal laws that prioritized student privacy rights without mandatory parental involvement. The shift reflected guidance from the California Department of Education regarding transgender student support.

LGBTQ Fresno, PFLAG Fresno, Fresno EOC LGBTQ Resource Center, ACLU of Northern California and other organizations participated in bringing these changes to light and encouraging the public to engage with the district.


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