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Rob Bonta Issues Legal Guidance On Parental Rights School Policy Under Temporary Restraining Order

A Hearing On The Department Of Justice's Request For A Preliminary Injunction Is Set For Oct. 13

California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued legal guidance to superintendents in the state reminding them that a temporary restraining order on a recently adopted parental rights policy was issued by the San Bernardino Superior Court and was in “full force and effect.”

The San Bernardino Superior Court issued a temporary restraining order in The People of the State of California v. Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) on Sept. 6 after CVUSD and several other school districts enacted parental rights policies mandating schools inform parents of students requesting to be identified as transgender.

“In that order, the Court enjoined and restrained the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) from adopting, implementing, enforcing, or otherwise giving effect to its Board Policy 5020.1, under which school staff were required to forcibly ‘out’ transgender and gender nonconforming students to their parents,” Bonta wrote. “Specifically, Policy 5020.1 — which the CVUSD Board adopted on July 20, 2023 — required schools to inform parents, with minimal exceptions, whenever a student requests to use a name or pronoun different from that on their birth certificate or official records, without the student’s permission.”

Bonta noted CVUSD’s policy also required parental notification if a student requests to participate in programs or use school facilities that do not align with their sex at birth.

“The forced disclosure policy required staff members to make such disclosures without student consent, and even when the disclosure of that student’s gender identity could put them at risk of physical, emotional, or psychological abuse,” Bonta wrote.

“The Court finds Plaintiff, the People of the State of California, have demonstrated a likelihood that it will prevail on the merits of its Complaint, and that the relative balance of harms to both Plaintiff and Defendant require the Court to issue interim relief,” reads the San Bernardino Superior Court’s Sept. 6 ruling. “Defendant and its agents, employees, assigns, and all persons acting in concert with it are restrained and enjoined from adopting, implementing, enforcing, or otherwise giving effect to [CVUSD] Board Policy 5020.1.”

Bonta reminded superintendents the temporary restraining order remains in full force and effect in the state.

“Department of Justice’s legal interpretation and intent to enforce California law for the protection of children remains unchanged,” he concluded. “A hearing on the Department of Justice’s request for a preliminary injunction is currently set for October 13, 2023.”

Earlier this month, Orange Unified School District (OUSD) became the sixth school district in California to enact a parental rights policy similar to CVUSD.

OUSD’s new policy follows CVUSD along with Murrieta Unified School District (MUSD), Chino Valley Unified School District’s (CVUSD), Anderson Union High School District (AVUHSD), Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD), and Rocklin Unified School District (RUSD).

In late August, Bonta announced the lawsuit against CVUSD challenging their recently adopted policy.

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