EDUCATION + SCHOOLS

Gov. Cox signs resolution to censure school board member Natalie Cline

Feb 15, 2024, 2:46 PM | Updated: 5:00 pm

natalie cline nameplate...

Natalie Cline’s seat is empty as Utah State Board of Education board members gather for an executive session to discuss board member Cline’s character and professional competence at the Utah State Board of Education in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024. (Kristin MurphyDeseret News)

(Kristin MurphyDeseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — On Thursday, Gov. Spencer Cox Cline signed a resolution to censure Utah State Board of Education Member Natalie Cline. Cline has faced backlash since sharing a post that questioned the gender of a high school basketball player last week.

On Wednesday night, the Utah Board of Education voted to formally censure Cline. The board also asked for her to resign.

The parents of the teen involved, as well as several Utah leaders, have also called for Cline’s resignation.

Response to the vote

The House passed the resolution to censure Cline 72-2 and the Senate passed it unanimously.

“Condemnation is a strong action to take. Natalie Cline’s social media activity, in my observation, did not warrant legislative involvement,” Rep. Phil Lyman, one of the two lawmakers who voted against the resolution, told KSL NewsRadio.

The other representative who voted against the resolution, Brett Garner, also explained his vote.

“Passing this resolution without beginning impeachment is a endorsement of her actions, not a censure,” he wrote in an X post.

Utah House Democratic leadership issued a statement following the votes that echoed Garner’s position that censuring was not enough. 

“As representatives entrusted with the well-being and integrity of our communities, we are deeply disappointed by the Utah House of Representatives’ failure to consider impeachment proceedings against Utah School Board Member Natalie Cline,” read a statement from the House Democratic leadership.

What does the resolution say?

According to the language of the resolution to censure Natalie Cline, HCR 18, “strongly condemns USBE member Natalie Cline’s social media post questioning a student’s gender.”

The bill also “censures Cline for her conduct.”

The resolution highlights several reasons that, according to the sponsors, warrant an official legislative response to Cline’s recent social media activity.

Those include:

  • USBE bylaws require a USBE member to treat students with dignity,
  • and that USBE members are charged with supporting and advocating for Utah students.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

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Gov. Cox signs resolution to censure school board member Natalie Cline