(Daily Caller) – A California school board voted Thursday to keep a school policy which directs teachers to keep a student’s gender transition a secret, despite pending litigation over the resolution.
In a 3-2 vote, Chico Unified School Board decided to keep “Administrative Regulation 5145.3,” which requires educators to keep a student’s change in pronouns or name confidential unless the student gives written permission for their gender change to be shared. In January, Aurora Regino filed a lawsuit against the Chico Unified School District after a counselor allegedly helped her daughter secretly transition genders.
“I’m still in awe about what I saw last night and how the Board allowed people to heckle and bully parents who were speaking about the right to be involved in their own children’s lives,” Regino said in a statement to the Daily Caller News Foundation. “This decision is devastating for parents not only here in our community but also across the country. The next step to fight back is legal action and that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”
At the meeting, the board considered adding a policy which would require school administration to share a student’s gender transition with a parent if the child was younger than 11. Under the proposed policy, if school administration believes the student is under a threat of physical or emotional harm during their gender transition they are to report it.
The Center for American Liberty filed the lawsuit on behalf of Regino after she discovered her 10-year-old daughter had begun to transition genders at school. A school counselor, whom Regino never met, had allegedly advised Regino’s daughter that she was a boy and convinced the girl to use he/him pronouns and a male name at school, the lawsuit stated.
“We as educators and service providers, we as educators need to cultivate an environment where students feel trust and safety and acceptance, to be unapologetically themselves without repercussions of backlash,” Oliva Phillips, a teacher within the district, said about the policy at the board meeting.
In response to the lawsuit, Republican California Rep. Doug LaMalfa introduced a piece of legislation in March that would withhold federal funding from schools if they fail to adopt policies that would require parental permission before a student can change their name or pronouns at school. On the state level, Republican California state Rep. Bill Essayli introduced legislation which would require public school administration to alert parents, in writing, within three days if their child is changing their name and pronouns.
“The Chico Unified School Board’s decision to keep the parental secrecy policy in place is a slap in the face to every parent whose child is under their care,” Harmeet Dhillon, an attorney representing Regino, said in a statement to the DCNF. “It makes a mockery of fundamental, constitutionally protected, parental rights and puts every child’s safety at risk. If the board won’t rescind this unconstitutional policy, our lawsuit will prompt the court to do it for them.”
Chico Unified School District did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.