California Judge Halts School Policy That Would Alert Parents of Child's Social Gender Transition

Thomas Garza compares gender transition to religious conversion

Tony Thurmond (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
September 6, 2023

A Southern California judge on Wednesday temporarily halted a school district's policy to alert parents if their children are socially transitioned to a different gender at school, saying it had "no stated, clear purpose."

San Bernardino County Superior Court judge Thomas Garza ruled against a Chino Valley Unified School District's parental notification policy which was put into effect because parents had voiced concerns about teachers and administrators ushering gender-confused children into adopting new names and identities school-wide while keeping it a secret from parents.

During the court hearing, Garza compared a child changing gender to changing religion and said he found "no stated, clear purpose" for a school to have a parental notification policy about gender confusion.

"Let’s say that a student were raised under one religion, then decides to change that religion on their own, at whatever age," Garza said. "With that in mind, whatever the class of protected students are, students are students. Whatever makeup that they comprise, it strikes me that you are singling out a group that is exposed to a clear and present danger."

Adopting a different gender identity can lead to irreversible medical interventions including puberty blockers and cross-sex hormones that are not approved by the FDA. While not all of their long-term health effects are fully known, these drugs can impair brain development, hurt bone density, and ruin sexual function while also leading to sterility, according to an NIH study. Cross-sex hormones can raise cancer risk as well. Children suffering from gender confusion are often autistic or prone to other psychiatric distress.

The restraining order will take effect immediately and will stay in place while Garza weighs the full merits of the state’s lawsuit against the district. He will hear a new set of arguments on Oct. 13.

The ruling is a setback for parents battling California’s transgender agenda in public schools. Four additional districts have followed Chino’s lead in passing similar parental notification policies, and three more districts are set to vote on their own versions this week.

The restraining order comes just a week after parents’ rights groups launched three ballot initiatives for next November that they hope will counter gender ideology in public schools—including a statewide mandate for school districts to involve parents before socially transitioning their kids and a ban on biological boys competing on girls’ sports teams.

California attorney general Rob Bonta is pouring significant political capital in the fight against parents, launching a civil rights probe and lawsuit against Chino and sending legal threats to the other school districts that want to involve parents. He calls parental notification policies "dangerous," and has taken to the airwaves in the past week to defend the lawsuit.

School districts that follow the state’s preferred policy of secretly transitioning kids have to contend with their own legal battles. Last week, Spreckels Union School District near Monterey, Calif., paid $100,000 to settle a mother’s lawsuit alleging the district transitioned her daughter behind her back.