A new school policy that requires officials to notify parents if a student wants to transition genders “fails to comply with (California education code) prohibitions against discrimination.”
Officials with the California Department of Education informed the Rocklin Unified School District about the violation in a Feb. 1 letter that gives superintendent Roger Stock five days to notify students and staff the policy is rescinded, the Sacramento Bee reports.
Once that happens, the district has 10 days to send proof to the state or risk losing state and federal funding.
In addition to requiring parents are informed about their child’s gender status at school, the policy adopted with a vote of 4-1 on Sept. 6 requires students to use school facilities that align with their biological sex.
“The CDE finds the District’s policy … on its face singles out and is directed exclusively toward one group of students based on that group’s legally protected characteristics of identifying with or expressing a gender other than that identified at birth,” the CDE wrote.
“And that application of that policy adversely impacts those students,” the letter continued. “Finally, (the policy) does not expressly or implicitly provide any educational or school administrative purpose justifying either form of discrimination.”
The threatening letter was hardly a surprise, considering comments from California Attorney General Rob Bonta cited by KCRA when the board approved the policies in September.
“Despite our ongoing commitment to stand against any actions that target and discriminate against California’s transgender and gender-nonconforming youth, Rocklin Unified has chosen to endanger their civil rights by adopting a policy that forcibly outs them without consideration of their safety and well being,” Bonta said at the time. “I have said it before and I will say it again: We will not tolerate any policy that perpetuates discrimination, harassment, or exclusion within our educational institutions.”
Rocklin district officials told the Bee they’ve received the CDE report and are reviewing it.
District spokesman Sundeep Dosanjh said “RUSD has not asked teachers and counselors to implement the revised regulations until the required negotiations on the effects of the changes on working conditions have been completed.”
The ODE report follows a complaint filed by the Rocklin Teachers Professional Association against the district last year through the California Public Employment Relations Board. That complaint, which is scheduled for a hearing next week, alleges members were blocked from negotiating over the effects of the policy they predicted would face legal issues, the Bee reports.
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The pushback on the policy in the Rocklin district follows a court ruling that blocked a similar policy in the Chino Hills School District last fall.
That ruling means school officials there are no longer required to notify parents when their child changes their gender identity at school.
“We love our children and we want to guide them and support them as best we can,” Nicole Vicario, one of six parents involved in the Chino Hills case, told CBS News. “We are going to keep pushing on the state because they don’t have the right to raise our children.”
In yet another California case, Judge Robert Benitez ordered the Escondido Union School District to allow Rincon Middle School teachers Lori Ann West and Elizabeth Mirabelli back to work after they were put on leave for objecting to the district’s gender identity policy.
That policy required school employees to get students’ consent prior to discussing their gender identity with their parents, KSWB reports.
“They learned about this policy that was being enforced that would require them to hid material information about their students from the student’s parents, and in many cases to lie to the parents,” the teachers’ attorney, Paul Jonna, told the news site. “They just wanted to continue their jobs without having to comply with an illegal and unconstitutional policy.”