In a recent ruling, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Michael Sachs has temporarily halted the Chino Valley Unified School District’s controversial policy that mandated teachers and staff to inform parents about a student’s gender identity. Judge Sachs argued that this policy violated the state’s constitution as it discriminated based on the student’s sexual identity. The policy required the school to notify parents in writing within three days of learning of changes or questions surrounding a student’s gender identity.
Discrimination in Policy
Judge Sachs did not mince words in his rebuke of the school board’s stance. He pointed out that before enacting the policy, board members had described transgender or gender non-conforming students as suffering from a mental illness. He also highlighted that one board member likened gender identity issues to a “death culture” and claimed the policy was necessary because “women are being erased.” This stance drew a clear line between the policy and discrimination, which Sachs found unacceptable under the state’s constitution.
Supporting Trans Students
In his ruling, Judge Sachs emphasized the importance of supporting trans students. He acknowledged that some may feel comfortable coming out, while others may not, and he stated that his role as a judge is to protect their rights and well-being.
Ongoing Legal Battle
This decision follows a temporary restraining order issued last month by California Superior Court Judge Thomas Garza, halting the policy’s implementation pending further court review. The lawsuit challenging the policy was filed in August by California Attorney General Rob Bonta. The policy, adopted in July, requires schools to inform parents whenever a student requests to use a different name or pronoun from what’s on their official records, even without the student’s consent, and if a student participates in programs or facilities that don’t align with their sex on official records.
Legal Disputes Continue
While the school district is represented by the Liberty Justice Center, President Jacob Huebert expressed confidence that the court would eventually rule in favor of Chino Valley, asserting that parents have the right to direct their children’s upbringing and that nothing in California law requires schools to withhold information about students from their parents. As the legal battle unfolds, the fate of this contentious policy remains uncertain, leaving the rights of trans students hanging in the balance.