One of California's largest school districts passed a controversial measure requiring schools to notify parents if their children identify as transgender. The Murrieta Valley Unified school board passed the proposal in a 3-2 vote.
According to the district, parents will be informed within three days if a student seems to have violent behavior or thoughts, if they talk about committing suicide or if they ask to be identified by a gender other than the one on their birth certificate or official records. School board member Nicolas Pardue told The Center Square that these measures have been implemented in order to protect children:
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.
However, some parents do not agree and claimed that the policy may take away part of their parental roles. Jessica Tapia spoke with the Los Angeles Times. She is a former high school teacher who was fired by the Jurupa Unified School District for refusing to comply with such policies, said: "As a parent myself, I can’t help but think how anti-family the current state guidance is. Parents are the greatest protectors."
Attorney general against California school district's new policy
Parents are not the only ones taking a stand against the district’s new policy. California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who recently faced a similar situation in the Chino Valley school district, is also against it. He issued a statement calling the measure a "forced outing policy" and announced that he will open a civil rights investigation into the Chino Valley School Unified District, although he did not confirm whether he will do the same with the Murrieta Valley Unified District:
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. My office remains committed to ensuring school policies do not target or seek to discriminate against California’s most vulnerable communities. California will not stand for violations of our students’ civil rights.
Bonta’s statement is significantly different than the one issued by Vice President of Government Affairs at the California Policy Center, Lance Christensen. He is implementing school policies in the state and wants to make parents aware of any issues affecting their children. He stated the following in a phone interview with The Center Square:
Parents are not a problem to be solved. They should be communicated with and trusted and engaged in their children’s education. And that’s all we’re trying to accomplish with these parental notification policies.