California Attorney General Reveals Investigation against School District Policy Forcing Schools to ‘Out’ Students Whose Gender Identities May Be Changing

California AG Rob Bonta

By The Vanguard

OAKLAND, CA – A civil rights investigation into “potential legal violations” by the Chino Valley Unified School District’s policy that “forces schools to ‘out’ students whose gender identities may be changing,” was announced late Friday by California Attorney General Rob Bonta.

Enacted in July, the “Parental Notification Policy” by the district, said the CA DOJ, “requires schools to inform parents, with minimal exceptions, whenever a student requests to use a name or pronoun different from that on their birth certificate or official records, even if such disclosure is against the student’s wishes or could expose a student to parental abuse or increase their risk of self-harm or suicide.”

The DOJ explained the policy also “requires notification if a student accesses facilities or participates in programs that don’t align with their sex on official records.”

In a letter Bonta send last month to Supt. Norman Enfield and the Board of Education, he emphasized “potential infringements on students’ civil and privacy rights and educational opportunities,” adding, “My office has a substantial interest in protecting the legal rights of children in California schools and protecting such children from trauma and exposure to violence. I will not hesitate to take action as appropriate to vigorously protect students’ civil rights.”

“In addition to infringing upon student privacy, forced “outing” of students to their parents is very likely to result in significant emotional, mental, and even physical harm and subject students to discriminatory harassment,” Bonta said in the letter.

The AG warned, “There are numerous applications of this policy that could violate the law, including: (1) where parents have threatened to harm the student if the student identifies as a gender different from the one assigned at birth, and (2) when a student’s family relationships are so fraught that the student expresses a significant likelihood that they may commit self-harm or suicide if their gender identity was disclosed to their parents.”

“Students should never fear going to school for simply being who they are,” said Bonta in a statement, noting, “Chino Valley Unified’s forced outing policy threatens the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+ students vulnerable to harassment and potential abuse from peers and family members unaccepting of their gender identity.”

Bonta added, his probe “stresses our commitment to challenging school policies that target and seek to discriminate against California’s most vulnerable communities. California will not stand for violations of our students’ civil rights.”

Bonta said he urged CVUSD “not to adopt the forced outing policy and to fulfill its obligation to create an inclusive and safe environment for all students.”

The AG reports, “Community members opposing the policy included current and former CVUSD LGBTQ+ students, parents, teachers, mental health professionals, and advocates who expressed fear that the policy would endanger transgender and gender non-conforming students.”

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