Facing State Suit, School District Updates Policy on Notifying Parents of Trans Kids

Facing State Suit, School District Updates Policy on Notifying Parents of Trans Kids

Chino Valley Unified School Board President Sonja Shaw speaks in support of a parental rights policy proposal at a press conference in Chino, Calif., on June 15, 2023. (California Family Council/Screenshot via The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

3/12/2024

Updated: 3/12/2024

The Chino Valley Unified School District made changes to its parent notification policy last week as it faces a lawsuit from state Attorney General Rob Bonta, who called the policy discriminatory.
The original policy, passed in July, 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.
On March 7, the Chino Valley School 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.
Liberty Justice Center, a nonprofit law firm representing the district, said in a March 8 statement that the update was made in response to a judge’s ruling in October after the district was sued by the state. The San Bernardino County judge issued a ruling blocking the district from enforcing the policy, arguing it was discriminatory because it “treats otherwise similar students differently based on their sex or gender identity.”
Emily Rae, senior counsel at Liberty Justice Center, said in the statement that she believes both versions of the policy are “common sense and constitutional,” particularly in light of a recent ruling in a Temecula Valley Unified School District case, “which reaffirmed that parents’ right to direct their children’s upbringing is essential, not negotiable.”
Chino Valley board president Sonja Shaw said in the same statement that “the updated policy strikes a balance between two important principles—prioritizing students’ well-being and upholding parents’ rights—and ensures that parents are kept informed every step of the way.”
Chino Valley Unified was the first California school district to pass a parent notification policy in July, and since then, about nine other local school districts have followed suit.
Bonta sued the district in August, alleging the policy discriminated against LGBT students by singling out those who identified as transgender.
In September, 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.
A spokesperson for Mr. Bonta was not immediately available for comment.
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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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