Update: On Sept. 6, Judge Tom Garza of the San Bernardino Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Chino Valley Unified School District from enforcing its forced outing policy while the lawsuit continues. The next hearing is scheduled for Oct. 13.
California Attorney General Rob Bonta has filed a lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District over a policy enacted in July requiring teachers to out transgender and nonbinary students to their parents.
CA State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond appeared at the July meeting to oppose the policy and was thrown out by Board President Sonja Shaw, who accused him of “proposing things that pervert children.”
The lawsuit calls for a ban on the parental notification policy, saying it puts trans and nonbinary students in “danger of imminent, irreparable harm.” It argues that the policy violates state anti-discrimination protections and infringes on students’ constitutional rights to privacy.
“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,” Bonta said in a statement announcing the lawsuit.
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.California Attorney General Rob Bonta
Chino Valley Unified is just one of several school districts in California that have become targets for far-right extremists seeking to ban LGBTQ+ inclusion in schools. Other districts, including Murrieta Valley Unified and Orange Unified, have proposed similar policies to Chino Valley, and schools in North Hollywood, Glendale, and even LAUSD headquarters have recently become the site of anti-LGBTQ+ protests escalating tensions and inciting violence over LGBTQ+ inclusive curriculum or celebrations.
According to a 2021 report released by the Williams Institute, an estimated 49,000 youth in California between 13 and 17-years-old identify as transgender. Other surveys of LGBTQ+ youth have shown that those who attend schools with an LGBTQ+ affirming environment report lower rates of suicide attempts, perform better in school, are less likely to miss classes or face disciplinary action, and report higher self-esteem.
Terra Russell-Slavin, Chief Impact Officer of the Los Angeles LGBT Center, applauded Bonta for supporting LGBTQ+ youth in a statement, saying that Chino Valley Unified’s parental notification policy puts students in harm’s way: “We at the Center want our young people to know: There is absolutely a place for you in this world. And we will fight like hell to ensure you have the same rights as everyone else to find it.” Read the full statement here.
We at the Center want our young people to know: There is absolutely a place for you in this world. And we will fight like hell to ensure you have the same rights as everyone else to find it.Terra Russell-Slavin, Chief Impact Officer of the Los Angeles LGBT Center
To learn more, visit schools.lalgbtcenter.org.