When the Democrats won control of a two-thirds "super-majority" of the state legislature last year, political commentators immediately began predicting just how far and fast they would push for their desired liberal policies. One major consequence of these liberal values in action that must not be overlooked is the adverse societal impact upon our children.
Among their many legislative "accomplishments" this past year, the majority party passed a bill to allow children as young as kindergarten to choose the gender in which they "identify." That means that if a 14-year-old boy says he is really a girl, then no parent or school official can stop him from using the girls' bathroom and playing on the girls' basketball team. As the bill was debated, parents of all backgrounds that vocalized their disapproval of this gross breach of privacy and propriety were deemed bigoted and dismissed by the liberal majority.
Also passed this year by the majority party were two bills radically expanding abortion in California -- one allowing non-doctors, such as midwives and physician assistants, to perform the surgery and another lowering the required building standards for abortion facilities. Thanks to our liberal legislature, a 14-year-old girl can now leave school without the knowledge of her parents to get an abortion by a non-doctor in a substandard facility. Is this what we're to call "progress?"
Meanwhile, the legislature still has not passed a law addressing the horrific sexual abuse case at a Los Angeles County elementary school from early 2012. It is no secret that the California Teachers Association, with the deepest pockets of all special interest groups in Sacramento, has stopped the legislature from implementing the most modest of reforms to streamline the teacher dismissal process of even the very worst teachers. Children are put in danger and their ability to learn is compromised by a system that only benefits the entrenched bureaucracy.
On top of all of this, we are only beginning to see the effects of "realignment," the 2011 policy which shifted the responsibility of many convicted criminals from the state to the counties. Many counties, without the space and resources to handle this influx of inmates, have been forced to release dangerous offenders back onto our streets. Our children have been placed in danger all over the state due to our government leader's inability to responsibly budget and properly handle our prison system.
Using the young and vulnerable to justify public policy decisions is nothing new. "It's for the children!" we so often hear. It is not without irony then that far-left politicians are having such a deeply negative influence upon our next generation. California has become an experiment of unchecked liberalism, and our children truly are suffering the most.
SHANNON GROVE represents the Kern County communities of Bakersfield, Ridgecrest, Tehachapi, Taft and Frazier Park/Lebec.