A new California bill would require teachers, counselors and other school employees to notify a parent that their child is publicly identifying as transgender within three days from the date they become aware.
The bill, AB-1314, would require school employees to notify parents in writing when a student uses sex-segregated school programs, such as joining an athletic team or using bathroom facilities that do not align with the sex in their official records. California law currently protects students’ privacy on this matter.
The bill was introduced by Assemblyman Bill Essayli, R-Riverside, and Assemblyman James Gallagher, R-Yuba City. Essayli told The Sacramento Bee that he was approached with the idea for the bill by the conservative Fresno-based California Family Council.
Essayli told The Bee that his concern was for the well-being of the students. He cited research showing that parental support is key to preventing depression in LGBTQ youth.
A survey from The Trevor Project found that just 32% of transgender and nonbinary students consider their home a gender-affirming place. School is a more welcoming place: 51% of transgender and nonbinary students found school gender-affirming.
Essayli acknowledged that home isn’t always welcoming for transgender students, but he said teachers are mandated reporters who should report abuse.
“That can’t be the default position, that we’re going to keep parents in the dark because they might abuse their kids,” he told The Bee.
The bill has been condemned by LGBTQ advocacy groups and lawmakers, including Sen. Scott Weiner, D-San Francisco.
“A DeSantis-style bill was just introduced in CA to require teachers/counselors to inform parents if a kid id’s as a gender not on birth certificate,” he tweeted. “Even if the kid isn’t ready to come out to their parents. Even if ratting the kid out risks violence at home. Nope, not in CA.”
Essayli held a newss conference outside Jurupa Valley High School on Monday where teacher Jessica Tapia said she was fired for refusing to withhold information about a student’s identity from parents, according to the Riverside Press-Enterprise.