The policy, adopted in July, requires schools to notify parents if their child requests to use a name or pronoun different from that on their birth certificate or official records.
Parents of the Chino Valley School District are also required to be informed if their child requests to use facilities or participates in programs that don’t align with the sex on their official records.
This lawsuit comes after an almost month-long civil rights investigation launched by Bonta into the district for the potential legal violations of the policy.
A bill, LD 678, introduced into the Maine State Legislature in February by Rep. Katrina Smith (R-Palermo), would have codified a similar policy in Maine’s public schools, but was shot down in the Senate in June by the Democrat-controlled legislature.
California’s Attorney General is alleging that the policy violates the state’s Constitution, state laws safeguarding civil rights, and “has already caused and is threatening to cause LGBTQ+ students with further mental, emotional, psychological and potential physical harm.”
“Every student has the right to learn and thrive in a school environment that promotes safety, privacy, and inclusivity – regardless of their gender identity,” said Attorney General Bonta in a press release Monday. “We’re in court challenging Chino Valley Unified’s forced outing policy for wrongfully and unconstitutionally discriminating against and violating the privacy rights of LGBTQ+ students.”
“The forced outing policy wrongfully endangers the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of non-conforming students who lack an accepting environment in the classroom and at home,” Bonta said. “Our message to Chino Valley Unified and all school districts in California is loud and clear: We will never stop fighting for the civil rights of LGBTQ+ students.”
His lawsuit alleges that the policy unlawfully discriminates and singles out students who change their gender identity, in violation of the California Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.
Additionally, Bonta alleges the policy violates similar anti-discrimination measures in the state’s education code and California’s constitutional right to privacy.
The lawsuit also asserts that the motivations of the board in adopting this policy was “to create and harbor animosity, discrimination, and prejudice towards transgender and gender-nonconforming students.”
In their parental notification policy, the Chino Valley Unified Board cites three reasons for the policy: restoring trust between school districts and parents , bringing parents into the decision-making process for mental health issues of their children to prevent or reduce potential instances of self harm, and to promote communication and positive relationships with parents that promote the best outcomes for pupils’ success.
“I’m not surprised at the aggressive stance Sacramento is taking against the District for daring to question motives and agendas that don’t sit well with parents and families fighting to keep themselves involved in the life’s of children,” Chino Valley Unified School District President Sonja Shaw told Fox News Digital.
“Once again this is government overreach and the political cartel of Bonta, Newsom and Thurmond is using their muscle and taxpayers dollars to shut parents out of their children’s lives. We again had to learn first hand from reporters of their lawsuit. Bonta can’t even cite a law we are breaking in the documents and I find it a joke,” Shaw said.
“He knows better and this is another ploy to stop all the districts around California from adopting a common sense legal policy. We will stand our ground and protect our children with all we can because we are not breaking the law. Parents have a constitutional right in the upbringing of their children. Period. Bring it,” she added.
Bonta, when previously serving in the California State Assembly as a Democrat, introduced legislation that would lift a Joe McCarthy-era ban on Communist Party members holding government jobs in California — a measure that was later withdrawn.