California Attorney General Seeks Final Decision in Parent Notification Lawsuit Despite School Policy Change

California Attorney General Seeks Final Decision in Parent Notification Lawsuit Despite School Policy Change

California Attorney General Rob Bonta speaks in Los Angeles on April 15, 2024. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

4/27/2024

Updated: 4/30/2024

California Attorney General Rob Bonta is doubling down on his opposition to a local school district’s policy requiring schools to notify parents if their child asks for changes on their school record—including their gender identity and pronouns.
Mr. Bonta on April 24 filed a motion asking the court to make a final decision in his lawsuit, filed in August 2023, against the Chino Valley Unified School Board’s original parent notification policy.
In August 2023, Mr. Bonta sued the school board over the policy, which then required district schools to notify parents in writing within three days if their child requests to be identified as a different gender, changes their name and pronouns in the classroom, and uses the bathroom and locker room facilities of a different gender.
In October 2023, the judge in the case issued a preliminary injunction blocking the enforcement of the district’s policy, saying it unfairly singled out LGBT students.
Last month, the board voted 4–1 to update its policy to state that such notification should occur only if a child requests to change any information in their official or unofficial record.
However, Mr. Bonta’s latest request calls for a final decision in the lawsuit and attempts to block the district and other schools from enacting such a parent notification policy in the future.
“Today’s motion seeks to ensure no child becomes a target again by blocking Chino Valley Unified from ever adopting another forced outing policy,” he said in an April 24 statement.
Following Mr. Bonta’s announcement, the Liberty Justice Center, the law firm representing Chino Valley Unified, issued an April 24 statement arguing that his latest motion targets “policy that no longer exists,” noting that it’s “just more political grandstanding in opposition to parental rights.”
“We believe the [attorney general’s] entire case is moot now that [the old policy has been replaced] and look forward to arguing that point in court,” Jacob Huebert, Liberty Justice Center president, said in the statement.
“We believe that both versions of Chino Valley’s parental notification policy are common sense and constitutional.”
Mr. Huebert also reiterated the board’s support for “the fundamental rights of parents and guardians to direct the care and upbringing of their children, including the right to be informed of and involved in all aspects of their child’s education to promote the best outcomes.”
Chino Valley Unified was the first California school district to pass a parent notification policy in July 2023, and since then, nine other California school districts have followed suit.
In September 2023, a San Bernardino Superior Court judge temporarily blocked enforcement of the policy at the request of Mr. Bonta. The following month, a different San Bernardino County judge affirmed the previous judge’s tentative ruling, saying it singled out students who identify as transgender and that gender identity is considered a protected class by both the state and federal government.
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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

Author

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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