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California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a civil rights lawsuit against a school district on Monday to halt its recently adopted policy that requires schools to inform parents about student gender transitions.
Bonta announced earlier this month he launched an investigation into the Chino Valley Unified School District, which represents over 26,000 students in San Bernardino County, after district officials passed a policy in July that requires teachers to inform parents within three days if their child uses names and pronouns different from their birth certificate, or requests to use school facilities or join sports team opposite of their gender.
“Every student has the right to learn and thrive in a school environment that promotes safety, privacy, and inclusivity – regardless of their gender identity,” Bonta said in a news release.
The state’s attorney general argued the district’s “forced outing policy” discriminates against the privacy rights of LGBTQ+ students and the California Constitution.
“The forced outing policy wrongfully endangers the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of non-conforming students who lack an accepting environment in the classroom and at home,” he said. “Our message to Chino Valley Unified and all school districts in California is loud and clear: We will never stop fighting for the civil rights of LGBTQ+ students.”
Chino Valley Unified spokesperson Andi Johnston told The Los Angeles Times that the district has been working with the state’s investigation of the policy and has offered “complete transparency.”
“At this time, the district is working with its legal counsel to review the lawsuit and its contents,” Johnston told the outlet.
Earlier this month, a parents-rights activists group reportedly staged a demonstration outside the California Capitol in Sacramento, condemning so-called gender-affirming bills while promoting parental notification involving student gender policies.
Sonja Shaw, president of the Chino Valley Unified Board of Education, became the leading advocate for the district’s policy.
She told The Los Angeles Times that Bonta’s actions displayed “government overreach” and an “aggressive” response to the measure designed to bring transparency between schools and parents.
“We will stand our ground and protect our children with all we can because we are not breaking the law,” Shaw told the Times. “Parents have a constitutional right in the upbringing of their children, period. Bring it.”
Shaw, who became a local advocate for parental rights amid the state’s pandemic response, reportedly said that state investigators subpoenaed her emails and text messages.
“[Bonta’s] automatically trying to assume parents are dangerous, and I think that’s a dangerous, dangerous direction that they’re heading in,” Shaw told Fox News. “And you see it all over California. They’re trying to push out parents, and I think that is something that we need to stand up for right now.”
California has become a leading state in the nation, promoting several new radical gender theory-related laws expected to gain momentum in the coming weeks, including undermining parental authority, requiring state-controlled curriculum, and targeting local school boards.
The movement has sparked pushback from parents, school boards, and lawmakers statewide to condemn such policies.
Republican Assemblymember Bill Essayli introduced AB 1314, which would require schools to notify parents if their child uses different pronouns or a change in identity. Essayli modeled the bill after the Chino Valley Unified School District adopted its policy that has since influenced other California school districts to adopt a similar principled action.
“We will accomplish our legislative priorities either through here or through the people directly,” Essayli said at the recent rally outside the California State Capitol in Sacramento, according to POLITICO.
Although the California State Assembly has yet to pass the bill, Essayli continues to push through every school district.