Judge blocks Calif. school district’s transgender parental notification policy

A southern California school district faced the fury of the state’s Attorney General over a policy of notifying parents regarding students’ change of gender identification.

Elements of a contentious policy in a Southern California school district that required school staff to inform parents if their child requested a change in gender identification will remain halted after a judge granted a preliminary injunction.

San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Michael A. Sachs ruled that portions of the policy were unconstitutional and temporarily blocked them until a final decision is made in the case.


Driving the news: California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who filed a lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District, argued that the policy was discriminatory and harmful to transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

  • The policy, approved by the Chino Valley Unified School Board, required staff to notify parents in writing within three days if their child asked to be identified as a gender different from what is listed on official records. It also required staff to inform parents if their child started using bathrooms designated for a different gender.
  • The judge denied the state’s request to block another part of the policy that required school staff to notify parents if their child asked for information in their student records to be changed.

    The other side: Lawyers for the school district argued that parents have the right to know if their child requests to identify as a different gender to better support their needs.

    • Similar policies have been debated or adopted by other school districts in California, with ongoing battles between California officials and local school districts over the rights of parents and LGBTQ+ students.
    • The outcome of the lawsuit against Chino Valley will inform the range of possibilities for potential legislation to combat such policies.
    • This issue is part of the broader national debate over transgender rights, with other states seeking to impose bans on gender-affirming care and restrict the participation of trans athletes in sports.
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