San Bernardino Superior Court Issues TRO to Halt School District’s ‘Mandatory Gender Identity Disclosure Policy’

By The Vanguard Staff

SAN BERNARDINO, CA – A San Bernardino Superior Court Wednesday here issued a temporary restraining order against Chino Valley Unified School District Board of Education’s “mandatory gender identity disclosure policy,” which will immediately halt its enforcement, announced the California Attorney General’s Office.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta’s Office said the “policy, initially adopted in July, 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 and even when the school district knows a student may be harmed emotionally or physically by the disclosure.”

The AG added 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 applauded the court’s decision, which came about a week after the AG announced a lawsuit challenging the enforcement of the board’s mandatory gender identity disclosure policy.

“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, that 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.

Bonta pointed out prior to filing a lawsuit, he announced opening a civil rights investigation into the legality of the board’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.

Bonta’s office said it has also issued a statement following Anderson Union High School District, and Temecula and Murrieta Valley Unified School District Boards’ decisions to “implement copy-cat mandatory gender identity disclosure policy targeting transgender and gender-nonconforming students.”

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