California bill would require schools to notify parents if their child is transgender

A new bill would require California school districts to notify parents that their child is gender nonconforming or transgender, prompting backlash from LGBTQ+ activists and organizations.

The bill, AB 1314, would require school districts to notify parents in writing within three days of learning that a student identifies as a gender that does not match official records or their birth certificate.

“Parents play a vital role in nurturing and supporting children and they cannot be taken out of the equation,” said Assemblyman Bill Essayli (R-Riverside), who sponsored the project. of law, during a press conference Monday in front of Jurupa Valley High School.

Jessica Tapia, a former teacher at Jurupa Valley High School, said she was fired after refusing to follow the law that prohibits educators from disclosing students’ gender identity to their parents without their consent.

“I said, ‘Are you asking me to lie?’ And they said, ‘Yes. It’s the law and it’s for the privacy of the student,” Tapia said at the press conference. “I can’t understand how the school system seems to think we should act like we’re the parents.”

Tapia plans to sue the Jurupa Unified School District for wrongful termination.

Under California anti-discrimination laws, federal and state laws, a transgender or gender non-conforming student’s identity cannot be shared with their parents without the student’s permission, according to the California Department of Education.

Because the student may not express their identity at home, disclosing their gender identity to their parents could increase their “vulnerability to harassment and may violate the student’s right to privacy,” the agency says.

The Center for American Liberty filed a lawsuit in January against the Chico Unified School District superintendent and school board on behalf of a parent, who said the school transferred his child “behind his mother”.

The California Legislative LGBTQ+ Caucus released a statement on the bill, saying it would put transgender and non-binary students in “life-threatening danger, subjecting them to trauma and violence.”

“Teachers should not be forced into the inappropriate position of disclosing a student’s personal gender identity information to anyone,” the statement said.

Executive Director Tony Hoang of Equality California, the county’s largest LGBTQ+ civil rights organization, also opposes the bill.

“We want LGBTQ+ students to feel safe talking to their parents about their gender and sexuality, but AB 1314 ignores the fact that not all trans youth have that option,” Hoang said in a statement. “Trans people are more likely to face rejection from family and even abuse at home because of their gender identity, leading to overrepresentation in foster care, juvenile detention and among homeless young people.

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