Rocklin School Board Sharply Criticized by California Attorney General for Approval of ‘Forced Outing’ Policy This Week

By The Vanguard

ROCKLIN, CA – Rocklin Unified School District School Board’s controversial decision Wednesday night to “implement a mandatory gender identity disclosure policy targeting transgender and gender-nonconforming students” is being strongly criticized by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who is making it almost a weekly habit of investigating similar forced outing policies by some state school districts.

The Rocklin district – located just a few miles Northeast of Sacramento – enacted a policy, said Bonta, that “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 without the student’s permission…the policy also requires “notification if a student requests to use facilities or participates in programs that don’t align with their sex on official records. 

Bonta said the vote comes after he sent a letter to the Board “cautioning them of the dangers of adopting its forced outing policy, emphasizing the potential infringements on students’ civil rights and educational opportunities.”

“Despite our ongoing commitment to stand against any actions that target and discriminate against California’s transgender and gender-nonconforming youth, Rocklin Unified has chosen to endanger their civil rights by adopting a policy that forcibly outs them without consideration of their safety and well-being,” said Attorney General Bonta.

Bonta added, “I have said it before and I will say it again: We will not tolerate any policy that perpetuates discrimination, harassment, or exclusion within our educational institutions.”

Earlier this week, Bonta issued a statement, said his office, “commending the San Bernardino Superior Court’s ruling to issue a temporary restraining order against Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education’s (CVUSD) mandatory gender identity disclosure policy, immediately halting its enforcement.”

Last week, Bonta announced a lawsuit “challenging the enforcement of CVUSD’s forced outing policy. Prior to filing a lawsuit, Attorney General Bonta announced opening a civil rights investigation into the legality of CVUSD’s adoption of its mandatory gender identity disclosure policy. 

Prior to opening the investigation, Attorney General Bonta in July sent a letter to Superintendent Norman Enfield and the Board of Education cautioning them of the dangers of adopting its forced outing policy, emphasizing the potential infringements on students’ privacy rights and educational opportunities.”

“San Bernardino Superior Court’s decision to issue a temporary restraining order rightfully upholds the state rights of our LGBTQ+ student community and protects kids from harm by immediately halting the board’s forced outing policy,” said Bonta.

Bonta added, “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. 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.”

The AG argued, in the lawsuit, the school board’s policy “infringes on several state protections safeguarding students’ civil and constitutional rights (and) the board’s policy has already placed transgender and gender-nonconforming students in danger of imminent, irreparable harm from the consequences of forced disclosures.”

“These students are currently under threat of being outed to their parents against their will, and many fear that the District’s policy will force them to make a choice: either ‘walk back’ their constitutionally and statutorily protected rights to gender identity and gender expression, or face the risk of emotional, physical, and psychological harm,” said the AG.

“The board’s policy thus unlawfully singles out and discriminates against transgender and gender nonbinary students, subjecting them to disparate treatment and harassment, including mental, emotional, and even physical abuse,” the lawsuit argued.

Last month, the AG issued a statement following Anderson Union High School District, and Temecula Valley and Murrieta Valley Unified School District Boards’ decisions to, said the DOJ, “implement copy-cat mandatory gender identity disclosure policy targeting transgender and gender-nonconforming students.”

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