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California attorney general issues warning to school districts with forced outing policy

Attorney General Bonta issues legal warning to districts with notification policies
Attorney General Bonta issues legal warning to districts with notification policies 04:27

California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a legal alert to districts across the state, warning them that requiring school staff to report if a student identifies as transgender violates the state's constitution. 

"Have some folks who do not care what the law requires," he said. "We are here to protect the constitutional rights, statutory rights, civil rights of our children."

Bonta claimed the policy potentially puts kids in danger, some of whom may live in homes where their families would reject them. 

"We know what the data tells us — that 15% of transgender, gender non-conforming young people are kicked out of their home," he said. "Another 10% are harmed physically by members of their direct family."

The issue has caused chaos over the past year as school board meetings have become the epicenter of the culture wars. Chino Valley School Board President Sonja Shaw is an ardent supporter of the policy. She's also the target of a lawsuit from Bonta. She said parents have the right to know if their child wants to change their gender or their pronouns.

I think it's clear that Bonta is showing his own insecurities," she said. "He's obsessed with power. He's showing that he wants to be the parent of our children and he's not doing his real job, which is keeping California safe. What is he doing to make them safe at campus by keeping parents out? It absolutely makes no sense."

Chino Valley Attorney Jacob Huebert added that Bonta presumes that all parents are abusers. 

"What the attorney general has done here is to presume that all parents are abusers," he said. "So, we need to keep this information from all of them and that makes no sense at all."

Parent and former teacher in Chino Valley, Kristi Hirst, advocates for LGBTQ students with Our Schools USA. 

"We know for a fact, this policy is harming students and families," she said. "We're seeing evidence of it. We work with the Rainbow Youth Project ... They have that crisis hotline that covers the state of California and everything this policy is introduced sends kids into crisis."

Shaw believes that this is a fight for parents' rights, and she isn't giving up.

"The political cartel has continued to show their cards and I think we just need to stand with our constitutional rights and we need to make sure we protect our kids together," she said. 

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