Background: The school board approved the notification policy in July.
The Chino Valley Unified School District approved a policy in July that requires officials to notify parents if their child asks to use a name or pronoun that does not align with the child’s birth certificate, or seeks to use a bathroom assigned to a different gender.
At the end of August, California’s attorney general, Rob Bonta, filed a lawsuit in San Bernardino Superior Court against the school district, asking for a temporary injunction that would immediately stop the policy as well as a permanent order blocking it thereafter.
Mr. Bonta argued that the policy infringed on several state protections for students’ civil and constitutional rights, which include the right of access to public education and the right to privacy. The attorney general, a Democrat, said the school district policy amounted to the “forced outing” of transgender students.
Why It Matters: The temporary ruling could deter other districts.
The temporary ruling by Judge Thomas S. Garza indicated that the court might ultimately decide against Chino Valley Unified and prevented officials from notifying parents in the interim.
It also might deter other school districts in California from imposing similar requirements. In recent weeks, the Anderson Union High School District in Northern California and the Murrieta Valley and Temecula Valley unified school districts in the Inland Empire have enacted policies similar to the one enacted by Chino Valley Unified.
Orange Unified School District board members are also scheduled to consider a transgender notification policy on Thursday.
In a statement, Andrea Johnston, the spokeswoman for the Chino Valley Unified School District, said that while the “staff respects the temporary ruling to suspend implementation of certain portions of the district’s parent notification policy, personnel will continue to fulfill its purpose of creating and maintaining a collaborative relationship between school and home.”
Mr. Bonta lauded the court’s decision and said the temporary restraining order “rightfully upholds the state rights of our L.G.B.T.Q.+ student community and protects kids from harm by immediately halting the board’s forced outing policy.”
What’s Next: Proceedings will continue in the case.
Nearly a month into its school year, the Chino Valley Unified School District must shelve its notification policy and await further court proceedings.
The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 13.