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California lawmakers want to ban transgender notification policies in schools

California lawmakers push to protect transgender students
California lawmakers push to protect transgender students 03:15

ROCKLIN – California Democrats are pushing back on transgender notification policies inside of schools. On Wednesday, a bill was introduced that would ban school staff from telling parents if a student identifies as transgender.

Rocklin Unified passed a transgender notification policy at the beginning of the school year and was recently sued by the state over it.

Democrats behind the bill said the ban is for the safety of students and staff.

"It's time to step back from the chaos and focus on what is most important, and that is the safety of their kids," said District 5 Senator Susan Talamantes Eggman, who was at the press conference unveiling the bill.

The Safety Act, or AB 1955, would bar school districts from passing these policies and protect school staff who resist the policies from district retaliation.

"I would want to know if it were my children," said Carol Belanger, who lives in Rocklin.

The policy has sparked debate over parents' rights versus students' rights.

"Having someone rat out or snitch on your secrets, I don't think that's right at all," said Santino Rallos, a student at Rocklin High.

Alexis Sanchez with Sacramento's LGBTQ Community Center supports the bill.

"If a child is not out to their parents, there is most likely a reason why they are not out to their parents," Sanchez said.

Sanchez told CBS13 that 40% of youth experiencing homelessness in Sacramento County identify as LGBTQ.

"A lot of times their journey starts with them being forcibly outed to unsupportive parents and them being asked to leave their home," Sanchez said.

Others who support the notification policy said that not notifying parents would take away a parent's 14th Amendment right to care, guide and make health care decisions for their children.

"The student is a minor under 18 and the parents should parent and get the child counseling or more information about their choice," said Belanger.

Lionel Gonzalez is a parent in Rocklin who believes they should only be notified if a student is facing bullying for being transgender, but otherwise, it should be a conversation between parents and students.

"I think if there's a risk to the student at the school, absolutely have a conversation with the parents," Gonzalez said.

CBS13 reached out to Rocklin Unified to get a response from it on the new bill, but it did not respond.

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