Southern California Superintendent Defends 7th-Grade Boy Masturbating In Front Of Classmates, Claims It’s Normal

 A California superintendent defended a 7th-grade boy allegedly caught masturbating in front of his classmates, insisting to shocked parents that it was normal.

The superintendent, Mark McLaughlin of the Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD), admonished parents for bringing up the issue during a school board meeting last month. McLaughlin disclosed that similar offenses occur at least once a year in their district, which he said normalized the incident.

“I don’t think any of you would want us up here chatting about an issue that took place with your child,” said McLaughlin. “I would say that, at least once a year, this comes up from both males and females within a school setting. And so, I don’t think this is anything outside the norm.”

McLaughlin issued those remarks in response to the testimony of Carrie Burgert, the mother of one of the alleged victims. Burgert shared that her daughter and other classmates allegedly witnessed the 7th-grade boy masturbating while in class back in May. Burgert added that the principal informed district leadership, but she has yet to hear back from the district office all these months later.

“I only know this because my daughter told me in the car when I picked her up, saying her friends were disturbed, traumatized, and scared,” said Burgert.

Burgert blamed CVUSD for the boy’s behavior, accusing the district of a lax dress code and exposing junior high students to inappropriate, adult topics like oral and anal sex.

“My daughter and that boy are victims of this board’s approved content and curriculum, and I hold them each personally responsible for the social and emotional damage to these children,” said Burgert.

CVUSD Board President Karen Sylvester appeared to be unaware of the incident. She insinuated that the teacher and board weren’t to blame, saying that it was something that “just happened.” Parents in the audience challenged Sylvester, claiming that she was aware of the incident and questioned why law enforcement weren’t involved.

After the meeting, CVUSD published a Linktree to counter general disinformation about the district. They made their Twitter page private this week as well, after reporter Christopher Rufo shared a clip of Burgert’s testimony and McLaughlin’s remarks.

McLaughlin’s defense of the boy’s actions occurred within the context of an already-contentious board meeting. Parents originally organized to confront the CVUSD board during that meeting over the district’s policies on comprehensive sexual education, social-emotional learning, and transgenderism.

Earlier this year, CVUSD parents concerned about the current state of their district launched multiple grassroots efforts such as Conejo Alert to inform and engage the community. One of the group’s leaders, Steve Schneider, alleged that his 8-year-old daughter was required to watch a video on transgenderism at Maple Elementary.

The parents also work with Gays Against Groomers, who spoke out at that same CVUSD board meeting in September. In clips that have since gone viral, Mario Presents criticized CVUSD policies and curriculum concerning transgenderism. He noted that he has two nephews in the district.

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