A group of parents of students at Weaver Elementary School in Los Alamitos are upset with the Los Alamitos Unified School District after learning about the sleeping arrangements at a school-organized science camp in San Bernardino County.
“No parent should feel the way I feel after knowing what could have happened to my daughter,” said parent Suzy Johnson.
The parents say their fifth-grade girls told them some of the biologically male counselors at Camp Pali in San Bernardino who use they/them pronouns spent three nights sleeping in cabins with the young girls.
“I contacted the school and asked them if they were able to confirm that there was not a man actually sleeping in the same cabin as the girls. They were not able to confirm that,” added parent Rachel Sandoval.
“Per California law, we place staff in cabins they identify with,” Emmi Teige, assistant director of Camp Pali, confirmed.
Parents say they are not accusing anyone of a crime, but they are angry the school district did not let parents know about the camp policy.
These parents say they just want others to be informed of the policy so that they can make decisions for their own families.
“It’s awful that children had to even experience this in fifth-grade camp,” Johnson said. “If I was aware of it and I had initialed something saying this was going to be done at this outdoor science camp, I would have kept my children home.”
A spokesperson for the district told KTLA the district takes all complaints and concerns seriously and is currently investigating.
Then on Monday, a spokesperson sent KTLA a statement indicating there had been no biologically male counselors in shared cabins with female students at the camp that they are aware of.
“While counselors may have used the pronouns, they/them, the use of these pronouns is not restricted to biological males. Biological females also use those term,” the statement read. “Pali Institute is an equal opportunity employer and always has been, with diversity and inclusion among its core values. Its commitment to diversity and inclusion applies equally to its students. Pali Institute’s priority is and always has been to ensure the health, welfare, and safety of its students, with strict rules and guidelines that govern staff interaction with students.”