After a year of activism: CA school district shuts down high school “Wellbeing” Center with Planned Parenthood-trained staff.

Parents were fiercely opposed by leftist media, pro-LGBT activists, and School Board.

Not giving up yields big results!

July 3, 2024

ALT TEXT The parents made sure that their school officials - and the public - got the message!

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

A horrible “wellbeing” center at the high school

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 went until June 2024, at which time it would need to be re-approved by the School Board – or the center would close.

ALT TEXT John Glenn High School in Norwalk, CA, was the center of attention.

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.

Local parents began to discover that these “wellbeing” centers are a nightmare. They were staffed by people trained by Planned Parenthood. Students were given access to a range of birth control (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 by 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 Board 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 purposely 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

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. The local Norwalk-La Mirada MassResistance team began protesting relentlessly at the School Board meetings! The School Board members were not pleased because the parents kept coming and refused to quit.

ALT TEXT 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.
ALT TEXT These parents and grandparents filled the room at the August 24 School Board meeting.

Leftist forces attack the parents (and MassResistance)

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

The hostile press. The local newspapers smeared and defamed our activists. They published numerous slanted articles portraying the parents as misinformed and accused them of lying to the School Board and the public. They claimed that the Wellbeing Center was just about providing services for troubled teens. One liberal newspaper even described Arthur Schaper as a “white supremacist.”

ALT TEXT The left-wing media tried its best to smear the parents and MassResistance. But it didn't work. Most people just ignored that.

Pro-LGBT PTA leader. The president of the local Parent Teachers Association (PTA) – who proudly 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.

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

ALT TEXT The School Board's attorney at the doorway telling parents what they couldn't talk about.

Phony School Board survey. The School Board tried to quell outrage by conducting a survey of parents and students about the Wellbeing Center. The survey “miraculously” showed that there was great approval for it!  But the survey was shamefully unscientific. It did not include 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” by the School Board. The School Board members attempted to answer parents’ complaints with a “Fact Sheet” about the Wellbeing Center which they published earlier in the year.  But the Fact Sheet was misleading and dishonest. For example, it correctly said that the Wellbeing Center does not “perform abortions,” but it failed to mention they did (as parents have seen) refer girls to abortion clinics. The Fact Sheet said that the School Board had rejected the requirement that Planned Parenthood be at the school. But the Wellbeing Center staffers were trained by Planned Parenthood.

Nevertheless, strong community support for parents as the word got out!

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 as the parents pushed forward.

Churches jumped 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.

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

Neighborhood outreach. During spring and early summer of 2024, our activists also canvassed in the neighborhoods around John Glenn High School. They urged 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.

ALT TEXT Canvassing near the high school.
ALT TEXT Our team of canvassing activists!
ALT TEXT At the June 10, 2024 meeting this mother told the Board, "I'm here to speak out and say that we want that center out! We want it out!

The pressure on the School Board continued unceasingly!

Success – the School Board doesn’t renew the agreement!

All that pressure on the reluctant school officials finally paid off. The Wellbeing Center is closing!

In mid-June, the Principal of John Glenn High School sent an email to the staff that the Wellbeing Center agreement 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.

ALT TEXT From the email that the John Glenn HS Principal sent to the staff.

Final Thoughts

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 and throws obstructions, roadblocks, and intimidation at you. But if you do the right things, you can find a way to win!

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