California judge halts school district policy to out trans students to parents

Back to school.

A Superior Court judge has halted a California school district’s plans to out transgender students to their parents if they change their gender identity in the classroom.

In July, Chino Valley’s school board adopted a ‘parental notification’ policy that would alert parents and guardians if their child goes by a gender other than what is listed on their birth certificate.

This would include using a different name and pronouns, using different bathrooms, or joining alternative sports teams to match their gender identity.

Shortly after the policy was announced, California’s attorney-general Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit against the school district and called for the San Bernardino County Superior Court to immediately ban the policy, warning that it could put transgender students in ”danger of imminent, irreparable harm” by possibly outing them at home before they’re ready.

Rob Bonta, California Attorney-General
California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta is called on the San Bernardino County Superior Court to immediately ban this policy.(Getty Images)

Now, San Bernardino County’s Superior Court Judge Thomas S. Garza has ruled to halt the policy – at least temporarily.

Commenting on the ruling, Bonta said in a statement: “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.”

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Meanwhile, the president of the Chino Valley Unified Board of Education, Sonja Shaw said in her own statement to Fox News that the “battle has just begun.”

“Politicians in Sacramento are not qualified to parent our children,” she argued.

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“The policy does not stop any lifestyle changes, it simply says the parents have a right to know what is going on at school and not be the last person informed.

“They picked the wrong parents to fight with. These are our children and we love them, and we care for them, and we are not a danger to them, and we will make sure that is known, and we will show our children that we will not be submissive to unlawful ways to shut us out.”

Chino Valley School District is being sued by the California Attorney General over its policies that could out transgender students.
Chino Valley School District is being sued by the California Attorney General over its policies that could out transgender students. (Getty Images)

This school policy and the resulting lawsuit have sparked a major debate within the community over a parent’s right to know the decisions their child is making in school. 

While some argue that parents should be made aware of their child’s decision to socially transition so that they can be involved and offer support, others fear that violating a child’s privacy rights could threaten their well-being.

While Attorney-General Bonta’s lawsuit continues, the district’s policy will be put on pause. 

The next court hearing on this policy is due to take place on 13 October.

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