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California Proposes Bill to End Gender Notification Policies in School

California Proposes Bill to End Gender Notification Policies in School
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California Proposes Bill to End Gender Notification Policies in School

Source: Pinterest

California’s Legislative arm has introduced another bill. This time, the bill aims to end forced gender disclosure policies in schools. 

California’s New Bill

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The Golden State legislature has announced the introduction of a new bill. Assemblymember Christopher M. Ward spearheaded this legislation, which aims to protect teachers and support the rights of transgender students in their schools. 

Therefore, this will end the forced gender disclosure policies that most schools have in place, helping students reserve their right to privacy. 

Putting an End To Parental Notifications

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The state of California has seen a significant number of lawsuits concerning student privacy over their gender identities. Therefore, this bill hopes to completely stop the policies that mandate teachers to notify parents about the gender-related decisions that their children make in school.

This way, both students and teachers are protected from privacy violations and possible conflicts in the future. 

Controversial Nationwide Debate

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The topic of students’ and teachers’ rights to privacy regarding their gender identity has sparked a long-running nationwide debate.

Many conservatives argue that policies should favor parental rights, while Democrats argue that students are entitled to their privacy, especially those who may not feel safe at home. Therefore, this bill hopes to strike a balance between both sides. 

California Clarifies Its Stance

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Assemblymember Ward also described the existing policies as “forced outing” measures, which may be detrimental to a child.

Therefore, this new bill reaffirms and clarifies the state’s stance on protecting the rights of students in the LGBTQ+ community. It also hopes to provide families with the required guidance to help with this sensitive matter. 

ALSO READ: United Methodists Take Giant Step Towards LGBTQ Inclusion, Lift 40-Year- Ban on LGBTQ Clergy

Culture Wars 

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Over the last year, many schools across the country have adopted policies that caused many debates over the rights of LGBTQ+ students.

In California, many instances have happened and led to many lawsuits from parents and teachers alike. Therefore, this has brought into question the constitutional rights of minors on the privacy of their identities in schools and at home. 

California’s Attorney General Sues School District

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One of the most notable legal actions in California was when the state’s Attorney General, Rob Bonta, sued the Chino school district.

In his suit, he claimed that the district’s policies discriminated against its transgender students. This case served as a huge turning point and prompted many policy revisions in several schools.

POLL—Should Public Schools Include Critical Race Theory and Sex Education in Their Curriculum? 

Revising the Policies

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Bonta won his case against the Chino school district when a judge ruled against its policies. Therefore, the district had no choice but to revise its policies to be more inclusive for all its members.

However, the attorney general filed another motion to prevent the school board from reimplementing these policies that were discriminatory to some. 

More Lawsuits in Riverside and Chico

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After Bonita’s case, many other lawsuits erupted in different districts over similar discriminatory policies. There was a parental lawsuit in Chico and another different suit in Temecula over the policies of their school districts.

Therefore, this shows that these discriminatory policies are everywhere in the state, causing controversy among the students, teachers, and their parents. 

Anti-Transgender Group Wants To Add a Ballot Measure 

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There is an anti-transgender group that is pushing for a ballot measure that will make sure parents get notified of their children’s identities.

They are also trying to add the restriction of transgender healthcare for minors. If they are able to get this measure passed, it could potentially clash with Ward’s legislative efforts and overturn them completely. 

ALSO READ: Autopsy Report Reveals LGBTQ Teen Nex Benedict Died by Suicide

Republicans Disapprove

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Republicans are not happy with this new bill and have publicly expressed their displeasure. Assembly Minority Leader James Gallagher was vocal about his disapproval, calling the bill an overreach into family affairs.

He also said that he believes parents should always be informed of any changes with their children, especially as it concerns their health and well-being on a larger scale. 

Teachers Are Uncertain

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These ongoing lawsuits and debates have caused many teachers to be very uncertain while carrying out their roles. They are highly concerned about following or not following these policies as they could face legal repercussions.

One teacher in the Riverside County school district recently settled a lawsuit for $360,000 after she was fired for not following its pronoun usage policies. 

Ensuring Student’s Trust and Privacy

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According to Jeff Freitas, President of the California Federation of Teachers, this bill is a step in the right direction. It would completely eliminate any rule that can force teachers to breach student-teacher confidentiality.

This is a cornerstone of effective education, and the state’s Superintendent, Tony Thurmond, agrees. Thurmond is an avid supporter of student privacy and safety. 

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