The Center Square

CA Judge Temporarily Blocks Part of Parental Notification Policy for Gender Changes

October 20, 2023

(The Center Square) – Judge Michael Sachs of the Superior Court of California partially upheld and partially blocked parts of Chino Valley Unified School District’s controversial gender change notification policy that has drawn attention from state leaders as the latest battleground in the culture war.

Sachs issued an injunction against the first two parts of Chino Valley’s policy, which required parental notification for children requesting to be identified or treated as a gender other than the student’s biological sex or gender listed on the student’s birth certificate or any other official records, or if a child wishes to access sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, or using bathroom or changing facilities that do not align with the student’s biological sex or gender listed on the birth certificate or other official records. Sachs upheld the third part of the policy, which requires parental notification for when a child requests to change any information contained in the student’s official or unofficial records.

“I commend the San Bernardino Superior Court for reaffirming and upholding the constitutional rights and protections of transgender and gender-nonconforming students,” said California Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Today’s bench ruling is a significant step forward that will set a precedent in our efforts to ensure every student is guaranteed the right to learn and thrive in a school environment that promotes nondiscrimination, safety, and inclusivity. Let this decision serve as a stern warning to other school districts that have passed or are contemplating similar policies: enforcing discriminatory practices will not be tolerated in our educational institutions.”

Even though the California Department of Justice celebrated this injunction as a victory, the organization defending Chino Valley in the case — Liberty Justice Center, a non-profit legal center — noted the issuing of an injunction only temporarily limits partial enforcement of the policy until a full trial can be held in February.

 “The Fourteenth Amendment and over a century of legal precedent guarantee parents the right to direct their children’s upbringing, and nothing in California law requires schools to keep secrets about children from their parents,” said LJC President Jacob Huebert. “We are confident that as litigation continues, the Court will find that the Attorney General’s case has no legal basis and will rule in Chino Valley’s favor.”

Gender notification policies have become a critical issue in California politics, including the recent introduction of three statewide ballot measures for circulation by parent activist group Protect Kids California to set new statewide transgender youth policy in sports and education. These three initiatives include the adoption of parental notification for gender changes, preventing transgender students identified as male at birth from competing in girls’ sports, and banning the use of puberty blockers, cross sex hormones, and genital change surgeries for minors.