The Orange Unified School District may be the latest to adopt a policy that would require schools to notify parents if their child is transgender.
The proposed policy is being considered during a Thursday night school board meeting.
The policy would follow similar measures adopted by other Southern California school districts such as Chino Valley on July 20 and Murrieta on Aug. 11. Those meetings involved plenty of heated debate from parents, community members, school officials and lawmakers alike.
Supporters of the policy believe it’s a parent’s right to be notified of information involving their child, while critics believe the policy could open up discrimination or potentially put students in a harmful situation, according to California Attorney General, Rob Bonta.
The proposed policy would require written parental notification within three school days after a student identifies as a gender “other than the student’s biological sex or gender listed on the student’s birth certificate.”
Things that could potentially activate the notification include accessing gender-specific school activities or programs, including sports, or using bathrooms and changing facilities that do not align with the student’s listed gender.
If a student asks to be referred to by pronouns or another name that doesn’t align with what is listed in their school files, parents would also be notified.
School staff including teachers, principals, certified staff members, counselors and more would be required to report students in such instances.
“In my experience, whenever students identify with a name or gender different than the one assigned by birth, teachers have notified me that parents were already aware of this and were already supportive or understanding of that situation,” said Greg Goodlander, President of the Orange Unified Education Association.
This policy and similar bans on LGBTQ+ issues in Southern California schools have been met with opposition and criticism from state lawmakers and officials including Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, and more.
Following the Murrieta school board’s passing of a transgender notification policy, Bonta denounced the school board’s “forced outing policy” saying:
“I am deeply disturbed to learn another school district has put at risk the safety and privacy of transgender and gender nonconforming students by adopting a forced outing policy. My office remains committed to ensuring school policies do not target or seek to discriminate against California’s most vulnerable communities. California will not stand for violations of our students’ civil rights.”
The Orange Unified School District’s board meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday night where a vote could potentially be held.