Another California school district approved a resolution requiring parents to be notified if a student requests to be identified by a gender or name not on their birth certificate.
The Orange Unified School Districtadopted the resolution on Thursday despite a judge one day prior telling another California school district they could not immediately enforce a similar policy it adopted last month.
The policy states that students who request a change in pronouns would be referred to a school counselor, who must promptly notify the principal. For students under age 12, the school is required to notify the parents within five days. For students aged 12 or older, the school is required to notify parents unless the student refuses to disclose private information.
In both cases, the school says parents won't be notified if there is reason to believe such notification would be a danger to the student.
The issue of parental notification has been a contentious one both in California and nationally. California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who filed a lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District, said outing transgender students to their parents or guardians puts them at risk.
Nearly a decade ago, the state of California passed Assembly Bill 1266, which provided transgender students, among others, a variety of rights. The bill prohibits public schools from discriminating on the basis of several characteristics, including sex, sexual orientation and gender identity. It also allows transgender students to participate in athletics.
Following the law, the state's Department of Education issued guidance for districts on whether to disclose a student's gender identity.
"A transgender or gender nonconforming student may not express their gender identity openly in all contexts, including at home," the guidance reads. "Revealing a student’s gender identity or expression to others may compromise the student’s safety. Thus, preserving a student’s privacy is of the utmost importance. The right of transgender students to keep their transgender status private is grounded in California’s antidiscrimination laws as well as federal and state laws. Disclosing that a student is transgender without the student’s permission may violate California’s antidiscrimination law by increasing the student’s vulnerability to harassment and may violate the student’s right to privacy."
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