OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
6:20 PM – Thursday, September 7, 2023
On Wednesday, a California judge temporarily stopped a Southern California school district’s policy that allows parents to be notified if their children alter their gender identification or pronouns while at school. Advocates believe that the policy was aimed at outing trans and non-binary students to their parents.
After the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) adopted a policy requiring schools to notify parents when their children change their pronouns or use a bathroom of a gender other than the one listed on their official paperwork, California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D-Calif.) sued the district.
The decision was made by San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Thomas S. Garza.
According to the policy, if a staff member recognizes that a student is requesting to be identified or treated as a gender other than the one stated on official records, CVUSD schools will notify parents in writing within three days.
Additionally, the policy specified how schools are supposed to alert parents in the event that students are hurt, threatened, or attempt suicide.
In August, Bonta declared that he would take legal action against the Southern California school district as he claimed that they violated the rights of LGBTQ+.
“We’ve secured a temporary restraining order against Chino Valley Unified School District’s illegal and dangerous forced outing policy,” Bonta announced on X, formally known as Twitter. “Today’s decision by the San Bernardino Superior Court rightfully upholds the state rights of our LGBTQ+ students and protects kids from harm by immediately halting the board’s forced outing policy.”
Bonta announced that they will continue to challenge the policy in court and provide “unwavering support ‘so each school district ‘promotes safety, privacy, and inclusivity.”
The next court appearance regarding the matter was set for October 13th, which is proposed to decipher whether Chino Valley’s policy on students’ gender identity violates state civil rights and privacy laws.
“While this fight is far from over, today’s ruling takes a significant step towards ensuring the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of transgender and gender-nonconforming students,” Bonta’s statement read.
Those who support the ‘parental notification’ system say that it’s not about outing the students but rather about defending parents’ rights.
CVUSD Board President Sonja Shaw announced that she is committed to ensuring that the policy stays in place.
“We’re going to safeguard parental rights,” Shaw said in a statement. “That is a constitutional right and we’re going to make sure that our parents at Chino Valley know they’re sending their kids here to be taught, not to be anything else.”
Shaw stated at the time of the initial lawsuit filing that she was not shocked because the state government had regularly taken actions “to cut parents out of their children’s lives.”
“We will stand our ground and protect our children with all we can because we are not breaking the law,” Shaw explained to ABC 7. “Parents have a constitutional right in the upbringing of their children. Period.”
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