Statement on the Announcement of California Assembly Bill 1955

May 24, 2024

In an announcement issued on May 22, elected California representatives proposed new legislation to ban parental notification policies that have been lawfully adopted by school boards across California. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond joined the California Legislative LGBTQ Caucus to prohibit parental notification policies that require school administrators to inform parents if their children ask to be referred to a name or pronouns that differ from their gender at birth or to access sex-segregated school programs or bathrooms for the opposite gender.

If passed, Assembly Bill 1955 would prohibit schools from enacting or enforcing these policies and strengthen policies that require school employees to keep secrets from parents.

Following the announcement, the Liberty Justice Center’s President Jacob Huebert issued the following statement:

“Parents have a right to know what their own minor children are doing at school—and school officials have no right to keep secrets from parents. That’s true now, and it will still be true if the state passes this bill. We will continue to stand with parents and the school districts that want to respect their rights—and we’ll continue to represent them free of charge, at no cost to taxpayers.”

Plaintiff Sonja Shaw, President of the Chino Valley Unified School District, stated:

“Bonta, Thurmond, and Newsom owe Californians an apology for suing our districts over a legal policy we had every right to put forth. Parental notification policies are crucial because they foster trust between parents and schools. These policies are a commitment to the community—they are a commitment that schools will not keep secrets from parents about their own children.

In addition, claiming teachers face retaliation is absurd. Teachers never handled parental notifications—district admins did. This provision is a smokescreen for a non-existent problem. Children’s safety should never be second to unfounded fears of adults being retaliated against. This narrative is misleading and dangerous.”

The Liberty Justice Center is representing two California school districts as they defend their parental notification policies in court. The legal filings in California v. Chino Valley Unified School District are available here, and the legal filings in California Department of Education v. Rocklin Unified School District are available here.


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