-Video of protest on transgender bathroom rights at KHSD is below-

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — California’s vaccine mandate is stirring up controversy in towns and cities up and down California. Here in Kern County we’ve seen handfuls of upset protesters venting at local school board meetings.

The protests have largely been in public schools but now a group called Faithful for Freedom gathered at St. Francis Parish School in Bakersfield in a peaceful protest against the mandate.

The private Catholic school hosted its board meeting with parents invited to attend.

Protestors gathered along the street just outside of St. Francis in prayer. They said they are not against vaccinations but instead against the imminent mandate that will be forced on them.

This isn’t the only group protesting the vaccine mandate. A different group protested at the Kern High School District (KHSD) board meeting this month. The protest had students, parents and teachers speak out about the school vaccination mandate and why they disagree.

“Forcing people to take the vaccine is against the highest law and that is from God,” a concerned parent said. “How are you going to sleep tonight?”

“More children will die due to the COVID vaccine,” another concerned parent said. “Obviously, it’s doing more harm than good. Pfizer does more harm than good and I don’t think it ever will. I think it is a lie.”

This wasn’t the only issue discussed at the KHSD board meeting.

-Protest on transgender rights throughout the KHSD-

Students, parents and religious leaders from the community spoke out in protest against transgender bathroom rights. The KHSD school board passed a proclamation last month committing to provide a safe environment for all students.

“The Kern High School District is committed to providing a safe school environment that allows all students, including its LGBTQ+ students, equal access and opportunities in the District’s academic, extracurricular and educational support programs, services and activities and pursuant to Education Code Section 220.”

Religious leaders said scientifically people can’t have transgender bones while female students recounted uncomfortable experiences over the past month.

“I’m a biological female and I’m uncomfortable using the girl’s bathroom because I’m bombarded with men,” a concerned high school freshman girl said.

But with opposition, there was also support, as students and teachers thanked the board for their decision to take this step forward for transgender youth.

The Center for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, located at 902 18th St., provides resources to the LGBTQ+ community in Kern County.

Visit thecenterbak.org for more information.

— Editor’s note: This post was originally published on Nov. 2 and has since been edited with updates.