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Judge's decision adds a new wrinkle to Chino Valley's gender notification policy

New developments in Chino Valley's gender identity notification policy
New developments in Chino Valley's gender identity notification policy 02:13

A California Superior Court judge delivered his decision on Chino Valley Unified School District's gender notification policy, adding a new wrinkle to the case. 

Since July, the controversial policy, which would notify parents if their students wanted to transition to a different gender on campus, drew criticism from civil rights groups that claimed it would forcibly out LGBTQ students. It also prompted Attorney General Rob Bonta to sue the district in late August for its new guideline, claiming it may violate students' civil rights. 

"This policy is extremely harmful to students, by forcing students out without their consent, them having any kind of say of who they come to and when they get to chose to come out," said ACLU lawyer Ariana Rodriguez. "It can be really harmful to them but to their parents and their families and their teachers."

However, supporters claim this is a parental rights issue, ensuring they are informed about their child's healthcare. 

"We love our children and we want to guide them and support them as best we can," said Nichole Vicario, one of the six parents involved in the case. We are going to keep pushing on the state because they don't have the right to raise our children."

On Thursday, the judge granted a preliminary injunction on two parts of the parental notification policy. Now, if a student asks to change social aspects of their identity, like their pronouns or use of school facilities, the school does not have to notify the student's parents.

"The injunction the state is seeking here would impair our clients' rights — our clients' constitutional rights to direct their students' healthcare decisions," said lawyer Jesse Franklin-Murdock. "And what the state is asking for is an injunction that would limit that right by allowing social transitioning to occur at school by school employees with no notice to the parent."

Despite the ruling, Vicario and her fellow parents did gain a small win. The judge denied another preliminary injunction regarding a change to the student's records. In that case, the school must notify parents. 

"It is important to me to be involved in every aspect of my child's life," said Vicario. "I feel like teachers, the schools, the state, do not have rights that supersede the parents' rights. And so, it is important for us to know everything our parents are going through so we can assist them in any means necessary."

The two sides will meet again in court next February. 

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