A California judge approved a temporary restraining order Wednesday blocking the Chino Valley Unified School District’s new policy of notifying parents if students request to go by a different gender or use different pronouns.
“San Bernardino Superior Court’s decision to issue a temporary restraining order rightfully upholds the state rights of our LGBTQ+ student community and protects kids from harm by immediately halting the board’s forced outing policy,” California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who filed the lawsuit against the district, said in a statement. “While this fight is far from over, today’s ruling takes a significant step towards ensuring the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of transgender and gender-nonconforming students. As we continue challenging the policy in court, my office will continue providing our unwavering support to ensure every student has the right to learn and thrive in a school environment that promotes safety, privacy, and inclusivity.”
Bonta alleged in the lawsuit that the district is violating the students’ civil and constitutional rights and has placed transgender and gender-nonconforming students in danger of “imminent, irreparable harm from the consequences of forced disclosures.”
Bonta said the students fear “being outed” to their parents against their will and worry they will have to “walk back” what he called their constitutionally protected right to gender expression and identity.
After the policy was enacted in July, Bonta’s office began the Chino Valley investigation.
“Students should never fear going to school for simply being who they are,” Bonta said in an Aug. 4 press release announcing the investigation. “Chino Valley Unified’s forced outing policy threatens the safety and well-being of LGBTQ+ students vulnerable to harassment and potential abuse from peers and family members unaccepting of their gender identity. Today’s announcement stresses our commitment to challenging school policies that target and seek to discriminate against California’s most vulnerable communities. California will not stand for violations of our students’ civil rights.”
According to a press release from Bonta’s office, the district is one of several being investigated on civil rights violations for enacting similar policies requiring the districts to notify parents about the gender decisions made by students attending the schools.
The release said those districts include the Anderson Union High School, Temecula, and Murrieta Valley Unified school districts.
The next hearing on the preliminary injunction is scheduled for Oct. 13, the release said.