In a hearing on October 19, Judge Michael Sachs of the Superior Court of California heard oral arguments in California v. Chino Valley Unified School District. Liberty Justice Center Senior Counsel Emily Rae defended Chino Valley against a lawsuit by California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who applied for a preliminary injunction against the district’s parental notification policy in August.
As the hearing concluded, Judge Sachs rejected the Attorney General’s application for a preliminary injunction against the policy in part and granted it in part. This ruling will temporarily halt the district from enforcing parts A and B of the policy while litigation is ongoing, but allow them to enforce part C. A copy of Chino Valley Unified School District’s parental notification policy is available here.
“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.”
“We look forward to defending Chino Valley’s policy as the case moves forward,” said LJC Senior Counsel Emily Rae. “Both the law and public opinion are on Chino Valley’s side—recent polling shows that a supermajority of Californians believe parents should be involved in their kids’ education and that schools should not keep secrets from parents.”
Judge Sachs also heard the petition of a group of San Bernardino parents who requested to intervene in the case. The judge accepted their petition, allowing them to join Chino Valley Unified School District as defendants. Emily Rae applauded Judge Sach’s decision to allow the parent interveners to participate in the case, saying, “This case directly impacts these parents, so we are glad that they will have the opportunity to vindicate their rights in court.”
California v. Chino Valley Unified School District was filed in the Superior Court of the State of California, County of San Bernardino, on August 28, 2023. The Liberty Justice Center stepped in to represent the district on September 11, 2023.
The next hearing in the case will take place on February 26, 2024.
The Liberty Justice Center’s filings in the case are available here.