Chief Sponsor: Robert M. Spendlove

Senate Sponsor: Ann Millner


9     General Description:
10          This resolution censures Utah State Board of Education member Natalie Cline.
11     Highlighted Provisions:
12          This resolution:
13          ▸     recognizes the constitutional duties of a member of the Utah State Board of
14     Education (USBE) and that a member swears to discharge those duties with fidelity;
15          ▸     acknowledges that USBE bylaws require a member of USBE to treat students with
16     dignity and respect each student's privacy;
17          ▸     strongly condemns USBE member Natalie Cline's social media post questioning a
18     student's gender, which exposed the student to relentless harassment and bullying,
19     including threats of violence; and
20          ▸     censures board member Cline for her conduct.
21     Special Clauses:
22          None

24     Be it resolved by the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor concurring therein:
25          WHEREAS, under Utah Constitution Article X, Sec. 3, "general control and
26     supervision of the public education system [is] vested in [the] State Board of Education";
27          WHEREAS, members of the Utah State Board of Education (USBE) hold a position of

28     public trust and are charged with supporting and advocating for Utah students;
29          WHEREAS, in November 2020, Natalie Cline was elected to the USBE, and in January
30     2021, board member Cline swore a constitutional oath that she would "discharge the duties of
31     [her] office with fidelity";
32          WHEREAS, under state law, the USBE is charged with adopting rules and setting
33     expectations for local schools to provide safe and civil school environments where students are
34     treated with dignity and respect and bullying is not tolerated;
35          WHEREAS, USBE bylaw, Article IV, states, "[w]hile Members [of the USBE] have
36     the right to freedom of expression, members shall respect the privacy of students, USBE
37     employees, [local school district] employees, and school level employees, including refraining
38     from direct and indirect identification of such, in a negative light in any public setting, venue,
39     or platform where there is a reasonable expectation of privacy" and those bylaws set
40     expectations that members communicate with the public in an ethical and civil manner;
41          WHEREAS, on February 6, 2024, board member Cline posted a student athlete's photo
42     on social media, thereby revealing the student's identity, and reprehensibly questioned the
43     student's gender publicly and without evidence;
44          WHEREAS, board member Cline's abhorrent actions caused the student emotional
45     harm and exposed the student to relentless harassment and bullying, including threats of
46     violence that created a need for additional security at the student's school;
47          WHEREAS, board member Cline's bullying and failure to treat a student with dignity
48     and respect undermine the mission of the USBE and displays a selfish indifference to her
49     sworn oath to discharge her board member duties with fidelity; and
50          WHEREAS, board member Cline's actions on February 6 violate the moral and ethical
51     standards expected of an elected official, particularly one charged with the duty to support our
52     children in public education:
53          NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the
54     Governor concurring therein, condemns and denounces board member Cline's repugnant attack
55     on a student in the strongest possible terms and finds such behavior irreconcilable with the
56     responsibilities of a Utah State Board of Education member.
57          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature of the state of Utah, the Governor
58     concurring therein, hereby formally censures board member Cline for her conduct.

59          BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution be sent to board member
60     Cline and the USBE and be recorded on the pages of the House and Senate journals.