OAKLAND – California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a statement urging the Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) to prioritize protecting student privacy. In an urgent letter sent to Superintendent Norman Enfield and the Board of Education, Attorney General Bonta expressed serious concern over the proposed Parental Notification policy, emphasizing the potential infringements on students' privacy rights and educational opportunities. The Attorney General's office is committed to protecting the rights and well-being of students in California schools.
"The protection of every student’s privacy and safety is of utmost importance, and that includes protecting their right to choose when, how, and with whom they share their gender identity. That is a personal decision for them, and them alone,” said Attorney General Bonta. “By allowing for the disclosure of a student’s gender identity without their consent, Chino Valley Unified School District’s suggested Parental Notification policy would strip them of their freedom, violate their autonomy, and potentially put them in a harmful situation. Our schools should be protecting the rights of all students, especially those who are most vulnerable, and should be safeguarding students’ rights to fully participate in all educational and extracurricular opportunities. I strongly encourage CVUSD to prioritize the rights and privacy of all their students.”
The proposed policy is up for consideration tonight at the CVUSD Board of Education meeting. If approved, it would require schools to inform parents, without exception, if a student wants to use a name or pronoun different from what's on their birth certificate or official records. It would also require notification if a student wants to use facilities or participate in programs that don't match their gender on official records or if a student wants to change any information in their school records.
In the letter, Attorney General Bonta calls on CVUSD to fulfill its weighty responsibility as educators to create an inclusive and safe environment for all students. Additionally, the letter underlines that decisions about gender identity are deeply personal and should be handled with sensitivity, allowing students to make their own choices regarding when and how to disclose their identities to their parents. Furthermore, this proposed mandate demonstrates a reckless disregard for the real-world dangers some children may face at home. Any child harmed following such a mandatory parental notification could lead to potential liability for the school district.
A copy of the letter can be found here.