California judge blocks school district’s forced outing policy for trans & enby kids

Author: John Russell

A California judge has once again blocked a school district’s policy requiring teachers to out trans and nonbinary (enby) students to their parents without their consent.

In August, the district approved the policy requiring school officials to notify parents and guardians in writing within three days if their child requests to use a name, gendered pronouns, or gendered school facilities (such as bathrooms or locker rooms) that don’t match the sex they were assigned at birth. The policy requires officials to communicate the child’s gender identity to their parents, even if the child doesn’t consent.

The same month, California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) filed a lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District challenging the policy. Bonta’s suit argued that the “forced outing policy” violates the state Constitution’s equal rights protections as well as the rights to privacy and freedom from gender-based discrimination.

“For far too many transgender children and gender nonconforming youth, school serves as their only safe haven — a place away from home where they can find validation, safety, privacy,” Bonta said in August. “We have to protect that.”

In early September, Judge Thomas Garza of the San Bernardino Superior Court issued a temporary injunction against the policy while higher courts considered Bonta’s lawsuit. In his decision, Garza called the policy “too broad, too general” and without “a clear purpose or reference of parental support and involvement.”

Sachs’s Thursday decision allows part of the Chino Valley Unified School District’s policy to go into effect: the part requiring schools to notify parents if a student asks for information in their records to be changed. However, Sachs described the parts of the policy that would force schools to out students as unconstitutional. Thursday’s preliminary injunction halts that part of the policy, pending a final decision in the case.

Earlier this year, California Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R) introduced a bill that would have required all California schools to out trans kids to their parents. After the bill died without a hearing, several school districts in the state began instituting similar policies. According to the AP, Essayli worked with school board members and the California Family Council to help draft the Chino Valley policy.

Such “forced outing” policies appear to violate the California Department of Education’s policies protecting trans and nonbinary students under the state’s School Success and Opportunity Act.

In late August, a coalition of anti-LGBTQ+ conservative groups in California announced an effort to add three anti-transgender initiatives to the state’s 2024 ballot, including one that would require schools to notify parents if their child identifies as trans or nonbinary.

Critics of such policies — which have been pushed by so-called “parental rights” advocates across the country — argue that they amount to forcibly outing trans and nonbinary young people to potentially unsupportive parents. A 2022 Trevor Project survey revealed that only 32% of trans and nonbinary youths felt that their home was a supportive and gender-affirming environment.

Actual Story on LGBTQ Nation
Author: John Russell

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