A second California school district has adopted a policy requiring schools to inform parents if their child changes their gender identity.
The Murrieta Valley Unified School District south of Los Angeles voted 3-2 to adopt the controversial policy at a school board meeting on Thursday that included spirited comments from members of the public on both sides of the issue.
The new policy requires parents to be notified within three days if a student requests to use the bathroom or play on the sports teams of the opposite gender, according to the Center Square.
“We have young kids who are flirting with these different ideations about what their gender is at a very young age because right now the state of California, for whatever reason, is intent on allowing minors to alter who they are physically,” school board member Nicolas Pardue said at the meeting.
The Murrieta Valley district’s parental notification policy also requires parents to be notified if a student is involved in violence or talks about suicide.
At the meeting, members of the community addressed the board and offered passionate defenses of and objections to the policy.
“As a parent myself, I can’t help but think how anti-family the current state guidance is,” said Jessica Tapia, a former high school teacher who is suing the Jurupa Unified School District in federal court, claiming she was fired for not complying with gender policies.
“Parents are the greatest protectors,” she said.
School board President Paul Diffley emphasized that parental involvement in children’s mental health is crucial.
“As a parent, I would want to know about everything that concerns my child’s mental health and physical health while they’re at school,” Diffley told the Los Angeles Times before the board meeting. “I don’t think there should be anything hidden because I have a fundamental right as a parent to bring up my child.”
The policy mirrors a policy adopted last month by the Chino Valley Unified School District just east of Los Angeles.
This month, California’s attorney general responded to the Chino Valley district’s decision to adopt the policy by launching a “civil rights investigation into potential legal violations” by the district.
The Chino Valley school board president responded by accusing state officials of “overstepping their boundaries.”
“This is a ploy to try to scare all the other boards across California from adopting the policy,” Chino Valley school board president Sonja Shaw said. “I won’t back down and will stand in the gap to protect our kids from big government bullies.”
The California attorney general quickly denounced the Murrieta Valley district’s new policy, calling it a “forced outing policy.”
“I am deeply disturbed to learn another school district has put at risk the safety and privacy of transgender and gender nonconforming students by adopting a forced outing policy,” said in a Friday press release.
During the July meeting at which Chino Valley district adopted the policy, California’s superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond was escorted out by security after he showed up to argue against the policy.
Gender identity and parental notification in school policies have become a hot button issue in recent years. Parents across the country have expressed concerns about children being allowed to adopt a new gender identity behind their parents’ backs.