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AG Sues School District For Parent Notification Policy For Trans Students

Gov. Newsom Holds News Conference On California Assault Weapons Ban Case

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California's Attorney General is suing the Chino Valley Unified School District over a policy for notifying parents if their child is using different pronouns at school, regardless if the child wants their parents to know or not. In a lawsuit filed Monday morning in San Bernardino County Superior Court, AG Rob Bonta argues that revealing this information about students violates state laws protecting civil rights, including a right to privacy. The lawsuit also alleges that the policy is discriminatory and can cause "imminent, irreparable harm." The policy requires school staff to report and notify parents if their child is requesting to use pronouns that are different than the sex listed on their birth certificate. Bonta argues that doing this, with or without permisson of the student, is already putting vulnerable at risk. The lawsuit alleges the district is unlawfully discriminates against transgender and gender nonbinary students by forcing them to either keep quiet about their self-identification or face discrimination. It also accuses the Chino Valley Unifed School District of animosity and prejudice towards a marginalized group.

Bonta argues that the district's policy infringes on several state protections safeguarding students’ civil and constitutional rights, including:

  • California’s Equal Protection Clause: The policy unlawfully discriminates and singles out students who request to identify with or use names or pronouns different from those on their birth certificates, or who access programs or facilities that, in the view of the Board, are not “aligned” with the student’s gender.
  • California’s Education and Government Code: Education is a fundamental right in California, and California Education Code Sections 200 and 220 and Government Code section 11135 also ensure equal rights and opportunities for every student and prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity and gender expression. The policy violates these fundamental anti-discrimination protections.
  • California’s constitutional right to privacy: California’s constitution expressly protects the right to “privacy,” including both “informational privacy,” and “autonomy privacy,” and the policy’s mandate to out transgender and gender-nonconforming students against their wishes or without their consent violates that right.

On Monday, Board President Sonja Shaw didn't back down, lashing out at the government in Sacramento. "I’m not surprised at the aggressive stance Sacramento is taking against the district for daring to question motives and agendas that don’t sit well with parents and families fighting to keep themselves involved in the life’s of children," Shaw told KTVU. "Once again, this is government overreach and the political cartel of Bonta, Newsom and Thurmond is using their muscle and taxpayer dollars to shut parents out of their children’s lives." She said that the district will "stand our ground and protect our children with all we can because we are not breaking the law. Parents have a constitutional right in the upbringing of their children. Period. Bring it."

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