Judge rejects suit to force California schools to report students’ gender identity to parents

The Progress Pride flag, designed in 2018 by non-binary artist and designer Daniel Quasar.

A federal judge in Sacramento ruled that California is not violating parents’ rights by requiring public schools to accept students’ gender identities and to let them decide whether to inform their families, The San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The state has a legitimate interest in “in creating a zone of protection for transgender students and those questioning their gender identity from adverse hostile reactions, including, but not limited to, domestic abuse and bullying,” U.S. District Judge John Mendez wrote in a ruling dismissing a constitutional challenge to the state law.

Contrary to the claim that the state is interfering with parents’ right to direct their children’s upbringing, Mendez said, the Chico Unified School District in Butte County, sued for implementing the law, “refrains from interfering with the established parent-child relationship by allowing students to disclose their gender identity to their parents on their own terms.”

The conservative group that challenged the California law said Wednesday it would appeal Mendez’s ruling to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, the Chronicle reported.

The 2015 California law, sponsored by then-Assembly Member Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, requires schools to allow transgender students to take part in all programs and to use restrooms and other facilities that are consistent with their gender identity. Accompanying regulations by the state Department of Education told schools to consult with transgender students on who, if anyone, should be informed of their gender identity.

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