Parental Trans Notification Ban Introduced in California Legislature

Parental Trans Notification Ban Introduced in California Legislature

An aerial view of the California State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on Feb. 1, 2023. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

John Seiler

John Seiler

5/24/2024

Updated: 5/28/2024

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Commentary
On this earth there is nothing more precious to parents than their children. Which the California Senate’s Education Committee is going to find out Wednesday, May 29, when parents crowd the committee room for hearings on Assembly Bill 1955. By Assemblyman Christopher Ward (D-San Diego), it would ban schools from notifying parents their child—their precious little one—may be having “transgender” or other thoughts about their identity.
In the bill’s language, it would ban public school officials from disclosing “any information related to a pupil’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression to any other person without the pupil’s consent unless otherwise required by law.”
Schools are required by law to notify parents if a child is so much as given an aspirin. But if the child is considering getting “trans” hormones or surgery, under AB 1955 the parents could not be notified.
It’s misleadingly titled the SAFETY Act, for Support Academic Futures and Educators for Today’s Youth. But if children are given puberty blockers, or their reproductive organs are removed, their “futures” becoming parents themselves are inalterably neutered should they in the future decide to “detransition.”
AB 1955 specifically is aimed at curbing local school boards’ abilities to protect their students by mandating parental notification of any drastic changes or mental distress regarding their identity.
As Mr. Ward’s office put in a statement on May 22, the day the bill was introduced: “Transgender, nonbinary, and other LGBTQ+ youth are at risk due to a recent growing trend of California school boards enacting forced outing policies. Since 2023, more than a dozen school districts have proposed and/or passed policies requiring teachers to notify parents if their child identifies as transgender or asks to be identified by a different name or pronouns while at school. These efforts have a measurable impact on the mental health of LGBTQ+ students, and can lead to a rise in bullying, harassment, discrimination, and more.”

American College of Physicians Rejects Puberty Blockers

The link in that statement leads to an LGBTQ Nation statement from April 24, reading, “A study from the University of Connecticut found that a third of youth who were forcibly outed had a greater likelihood of experiencing major depression as well as low family support. Additionally, more than 65% of youth said being forcibly outed was ‘highly stressful.’”
However, according to the American College of Pediatricians, “Transgender Interventions Harm Children: No Evidence that Transgender Interventions are Safe for Children.” It found, “There is not a single long-term study to demonstrate the safety or efficacy of puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and surgeries for transgender-believing youth. This means that youth transition is experimental, and therefore, parents cannot provide informed consent, nor can minors provide assent for these interventions. Moreover, the best long-term evidence we have among adults shows that medical intervention fails to reduce suicide.
“Puberty blockers may actually cause depression and other emotional disturbances related to suicide. In fact, the package insert for Lupron, the number one prescribed puberty blocker in America, lists ‘emotional instability’ as a side effect and warns prescribers to ‘Monitor for development or worsening of psychiatric symptoms during treatment.’ ... Temporary use of Lupron has also been associated with and may be the cause of many serious permanent side effects including osteoporosis, mood disorders, seizures, cognitive impairment and, when combined with cross-sex hormones, sterility. ...
“Many medical organizations around the world, including the Australian College of Physicians, the Royal College of General Practitioners in the United Kingdom, and the Swedish National Council for Medical Ethics have characterized these interventions in children as experimental and dangerous. World renowned Swedish psychiatrist Dr. Christopher Gillberg has said that pediatric transition is ‘possibly one of the greatest scandals in medical history’ and called for ‘an immediate moratorium on the use of puberty blocker drugs because of their unknown long-term effects.’”

Parental Groups Oppose AB 1955

“We will continue to oppose AB 1955 as long as necessary,” Lance Christensen, vice president of education policy and government affairs at the California Policy Center (CPC), told me. He finished second in 2022 in the race for California Superintendent of Public Instruction.
He also said AB 1955 violates the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, one of the anti-slavery amendments after the Civil War. Its key clause: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”
It’s obvious AB 1955 would abridge the “privileges or immunities” of California parents, as well as “equal protection of the laws” by giving power over their children to the Legislature and state bureaucracies. The use of puberty blockers and removing reproductive organs also violates the children’s “life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.”
When I asked if the CPC would take the state to court on AB 1955, Mr. Christensen replied, “If the governor signs it, yes.”

Will the Governor Sign It?

Which brings up the question: Will Gov. Gavin Newsom sign AB 1955? My guess is: No. He might also maneuver to have it die in the Legislature.
He knows this issue is toxic not just with Republicans, but among working-class Democratic and independent voters in such swing states as Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Georgia. This issue easily could lose him those and other states for his expected 2028 presidential bid.
The bill has already passed the state Assembly. At the May 29 Education Committee hearing, we’re going to see parents crowd the committee room opposing AB 1955. There even could be some scuffles there or outside the Capitol with LGBTQ groups backing the bill. As the recent campus protests around the country show, America is in a volatile condition now. Mr. Newsom’s opposition to the bill, if indeed that happens, could be portrayed by him as calming things down.
Finally, the tide is shifting against “trans” ideology. Look at this report from the Daily Mail on April 29 concerning the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, one of the most left-wing medical establishments in the world: “Changes to the health service’s constitution proposed by ministers will see trans women banned from female-only wards and also give female patients the right to request to be treated by a doctor of the same sex for intimate care.”
Of course, “trans women” really are men.
The report continues: “Discussing the changes, Health and Social Care Secretary Victoria Atkins said that ‘sex matters and our services should respect that.’” Note she said “sex,” as in biological sex, instead of “gender,” which until recent decades always was a grammatical term.
The report continued: “Women’s rights campaigners welcomed the move, which follows accusations that the health service had been captured by ‘gender ideology.’ Maya Forstater, chief executive of Sex Matters, a human rights charity that campaigns for clarity on sex in law, policy and language, said: ‘Victoria Atkins explicitly referring to biological sex is very significant. ... We can expect an outraged response from trans rights activists, but this is simply a return to common sense, and an overdue recognition that women’s wellbeing and safety matter.’”
If AB 1955 passes the Legislature, it will show California once again is chasing after a chimerical political fad, as with the requirement for 100 percent zero-emission vehicles new sales by 2035. But reality always intrudes, and is starting to do so on “trans” issues.
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John Seiler

John Seiler

Author

John Seiler is a veteran California opinion writer. Mr. Seiler has written editorials for The Orange County Register for almost 30 years. He is a U.S. Army veteran and former press secretary for California state Sen. John Moorlach. He blogs at JohnSeiler.Substack.com and his email is writejohnseiler@gmail.com

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