A judge in San Bernardino, Calif., has temporarily blocked a school district policy that requires parents to be notified when their child requests to be recognized by a gender identity or pronoun different from the one they were assigned at birth. .
Superior Court Judge Thomas S. Garza on Wednesday issued a temporary restraining order against portions of the Chino Valley Unified School District’s new policy that address gender and sex “out of an abundance of caution,” saying the case should be handled with care in the future due to its sensitive nature.
“The concern is how do we protect these students who identify as LGBTQ? Garza told the court. “And in my opinion, this is a situation that distinguishes a class of individuals who are protected differently from the rest of the students.”
The decision comes after California Attorney General Rob Bonta sued the school district last month over the policy passed in July. Bonta criticized the “forced exit policy” as a threat to the welfare of “non-compliant students who lack a tolerant environment in the classroom and at home”.
Bonta praised Wednesday’s decision in a statement, saying it “rightly defends the state’s rights of our LGBTQ+ student community and protects children from harm.”
“While this fight is far from over, today’s decision is an important step towards ensuring the physical, mental and emotional well-being of transgender and gender non-conforming students,” the Attorney General said. .
The contested policy is one of many similar policies implemented in other states, including Texas and New Jersey, and bills itself as a conservative policy. lawmakers across the country are moving to limit the rights of LGBTQ people to access health care, use the restroom, and participate in sports, among other daily activities.
The portions of the district policy that address parent notification regarding suicide attempts, threats, and bullying are unaffected by the judge’s order and remain in effect.
School district spokesperson Andi Johnston said his staff “respects” the judge’s order and “will continue to fulfill its goal of creating and maintaining a collaborative relationship between school and home.”
School district president Sonja Shaw has previously defended the policy and denied fears it could harm students.
“If a child comes to their teacher and asks to be called something other than the one they were born under, they are already asking to speak about it publicly,” Shaw said last month. “The parent has every right to know that.”
The next hearing in this case is scheduled for October 13.