California Sues School District That Tells Parents if Kids Are Confused About Their Gender

Policy to notify parents 'puts transgender and gender nonconforming students in danger of imminent, irreparable harm,' lawsuit says

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August 28, 2023

California’s Democratic attorney general on Monday filed a suit against a school district over its rule to alert parents if their child identifies as transgender at school.

Attorney General Rob Bonta’s complaint alleges that Chino Valley Unified School District’s parental notification policy violates California’s equal protection clause, students' right to privacy, as well as anti-discrimination policies. His claims largely mirror those he made just weeks ago when he launched a civil rights probe against the district.

Notifying parents puts "transgender and gender nonconforming students in danger of imminent, irreparable harm," the lawsuit claims. "These students are currently under threat of being outed to their parents or guardians against their express wishes and will."

The litigation raises the stakes in the state's standoff against parents over gender ideology in public schools. At least three districts have followed Chino’s lead in passing parental notification policies, and on Monday parents’ rights activists filed a ballot initiative to enshrine them statewide.

In his lawsuit, Bonta cites surveys from the transgender activist group the Trevor Project to justify a blanket policy of secrecy toward parents, saying that "fewer than one-in-three transgender and gender nonbinary youth found their home to be gender-affirming, or accepting of their gender identity."

Chino’s school board president Sonja Shaw told the Washington Free Beacon she learned about the lawsuit from reporters, but she isn’t surprised by Sacramento’s aggressive stance.

"Once again this is government overreach and the political cartel of Bonta, [Gov. Gavin] Newsom, and [State Superintendent Tony] Thurmond is using their muscle and taxpayer dollars to shut parents out of their children’s lives," she said.

Newsom hinted earlier this month that lawmakers are working on a bill to forbid notices to parents, but nothing has materialized in the last few weeks of the legislative session. The Democratic leaders of the state senate and assembly did not respond to requests for comment.