California Voters Support Parental Rights by Overwhelming Margins
Parents don’t lose their rights at the schoolhouse door, according to an overwhelming majority of California voters, most of whom also support laws requiring schools to notify parents if a student identifies as transgender.
A new telephone and online survey by Rasmussen Reports and Real Impact finds that 82% of California Likely Voters disagree with the statement, “A person loses their parental rights when a child enters public school,” including 69% who Strongly Disagree. Only 12% think parental rights are lost when children enter public school. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
Eighty-four percent (84%) of California voters would support a local law that required parents to be notified of any major change in a child’s physical, mental, or emotional health or academic performance, including 66% who would Strongly Support such a law. Only 12% would oppose a law requiring parental notification.
If such a law included notifying parents of a child identifying, requesting to identify, or being treated as a gender that doesn’t align with their biological sex, 62% of California voters would be more likely to support it, including 46% who would be Much More Likely to support the parental notification law. Twenty-seven percent (27%) would be less likely to support it.
“The data clearly shows that California parents support transparency and accountable policies, making it mandatory for the school administrations to inform parents if their child is facing any of these challenges or lifestyle changes,” said Gina Gleason, Executive Director of Real Impact. “Parents are attending school board meetings in droves to show that despite what the education establishment thinks, children, their well-being, and upbringing are not the responsibility of the school or state, it’s the responsibility of the parents.”
The survey of 1,305 U.S. Likely Voters was conducted on May 18, 2023 by Rasmussen Reports and Real Impact. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
At a White House event in April, President Joe Biden said, “There’s no such thing as someone else’s child. Our nation’s children are all our children.”
Sixty-four percent (64%) of California voters disagree with that statement, including 48% who Strongly Disagree. Twenty-nine percent (29%) agree with Biden’s statement, including 13% who Strongly Agree.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) support schools notifying parents if their child identifies or requests to be identified or treated as a gender that doesn’t align with their biological sex, including 55% who Strongly Support parental notification in such cases. Only 23% are opposed.
Among other findings of the Rasmussen Reports/Real Impact survey of California voters:
– Ninety-one percent (91%) believe parents, not the government, have the bigger responsibility to raise a child.
– Eighty-eight percent (88%) support parental notification by school officials if their child has a change in mental conditions, like showing symptoms of depression or suicidal thoughts.
– Sixty-eight percent (68%) oppose teachers and school administrators keeping information about a child’s gender identity secret from the parents, including 55% who Strongly Oppose such secrecy. Only 24% support schools keeping students’ gender identity secret from parents.
– Seventy-one percent (71%) don’t believe a person under 18 is mature enough to make important life decisions on their own. Only 14% think someone under age 16 is mature enough to make such decisions. Majorities of every racial, political and demographic category – including 60% of Democrats, 84% of Republicans and 78% of voters not affiliated with either major party – believe a person must be 18 to be mature enough to make important life decisions on their own. The only category in which less than a majority agree is among voters who Strongly Approve of Biden’s job performance as president, 49% of whom think a person under 18 is not mature enough to make major decisions on their own.
– Only 24% of California voters believe that, at 12 years of age, a child is mature enough to consent to mental health treatment, counseling, or shelter services without their parents knowing. Sixty-three percent (63%) disagree, while 12% are not sure.
– A majority oppose transgender treatment for children under age 16. Asked by what age a child is mature enough to make a decision about what their gender is, only 29% think a child is mature enough before age 16, while another 31% think children are mature enough to make such a decision before age 18, and 32% answer “never.” Only 21% approve of transgender hormonal treatment before age 16, and just 10% approve of transgender surgery before age 16.
– Fifty-seven percent (57%) agree with the statement, “A teacher not following a law to notify parents about changes in a student’s physical, mental or emotional health should lose their jobs,” including 39% who Strongly Agree. Thirty-seven percent (37%) disagree, including 19% who Strongly Disagree.
– On some questions, minority voters in California are more conservative than whites. For example, while 51% of whites Strongly Support schools notifying parents if their child identifies or requests to be identified or treated as a gender that doesn’t align with their biological sex, that number reaches 57% among black and Hispanic voters, and 62% among other minorities.
– Democrats are much more supportive of childhood transgenderism than other California voters. For example, 28% of Democrats think a child under age 12 is mature enough to make a decision about what their gender is, compared to just five percent (5%) of Republicans and 10% of unaffiliated voters. Similarly, while 33% of Democrats believe it is appropriate for a child under 16 to receive transgender hormone treatment, only six percent (6%) of Republicans and 14% of unaffiliated voters share that belief.
In its analysis of the survey results, Real Impact said: “School districts across California are faced with decisions affecting how school administrators communicate with a student’s parents regarding a child’s exposure to materials and activities while at school – and most California parents want to be notified and retain decision making power over their child’s education and communication with the school.”
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The survey of 1,305 California Likely Voters was conducted on May 18, 2023 by Rasmussen Reports and Real Impact. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research.
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