(The Center Square) – A California judge has blocked one school district’s adoption of a parental notification policy requiring schools to notify parents about certain important events that happen in the classroom.
Chino Valley Unified School District’s policy said faculty must write parents within three days if a student is involved in violence, talks about suicide, or requests to identify with or participate in programs or use school facilities that are for a gender different from what is on their birth certificate or official records.
While full details of the court’s oral ruling granting a temporary restraining order until an Oct. 13 hearing for a full preliminary injunction are not available, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who filed the lawsuit against the district, issued a statement celebrating his temporary victory on what has become the most contentious matter in California education policy.
“While this fight is far from over, today’s ruling takes a significant step towards ensuring the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of transgender and gender-nonconforming students,” said Bonta. “As we continue challenging the policy in court, my office will continue providing our unwavering support to ensure every student has the right to learn and thrive in a school environment that promotes safety, privacy, and inclusivity.”
In his lawsuit, Bonta argues the policy places “transgender and gender-nonconforming students in danger of imminent, irreparable harm” as a result of “forced disclosures” and singles out such students for disparate treatment and harassment.
Advocates of the measure, which is modeled on AB 1314, a California Assembly measure proposed by Assemblymember Bill Essayli, R-Woodcrest, that failed to be heard by committee, remain undeterred by the temporary court ruling.
“The opinion of one state court judge is not binding on any other school board or court. This ruling will be appealed and ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court, which will reaffirm over a century of jurisprudence that parents have the right to raise their children free from government interference,” said Essayli in a public statement. “I encourage other school districts to continue their deliberative process and to not be deterred by the Attorney General’s intimidation tactics we saw displayed in court today.”
Orange Unified, which has 42 educational sites serving 26,000 students and Rocklin Unified and Buckeye Union School Districts are considering or set to vote on similar notification policies in the immediate future.