ROCKLIN – The Rocklin Unified School District has voted to approve a policy requiring teachers and school staff to notify parents if their children request to be identified as anything other than their biological sex.
A Rocklin school board meeting was packed Wednesday night, with heated exchanges between both sides of the proposal to change school policy over student transgender rights, The proposal would require school staff to tell parents their child requested to change their gender identity from their biological gender.
Rocklin Unified School Board President Julie Hupp proposed the change.
“And it is inclusive, it amazes me that people say it’s not inclusive,” Hupp said. “What we’re looking to do is inclusive.”
School Board Member Michelle Sutherland voiced opposition to the plan.
“It’s a public school here,” Sutherland said. “Can we please let kids come to school and be accepted at face value by their teacher?”
The chambers were filled with people showing solidarity on both sides of the issue, some in opposition, some in support of the policy change for trans students at Rocklin Unified schools.
Outside the school board meeting — parents and community members unable to get inside watched this debate on the glow of their personal devices.
The proposed policy is opposed by the Rocklin Teachers Association. A spokesperson calls policy change illegal.
“Rocklin is looking at passing a board policy that’s been passed by a handful of other school boards that will put students at risk, put teachers and other school employees at risk,” California Teachers Association Spokesperson Mike Patterson said.
On Thursday, California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta issued the following statement criticizing the district’s decision:
“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,” said Attorney General Bonta. “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.”
The vote comes just hours after a California judge’s decision to halt a Southern California school district from enacting the same policy.
On Wednesay, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Thomas S. Garza ruled after California Attorney General Rob Bonta sued the Chino Valley Unified School District for adopting a policy requiring schools to tell parents when their children change their pronouns or use a bathroom of a gender other than the one listed on their official paperwork.
Garza’s order halts the district’s policy while Bonta’s lawsuit continues. During a court hearing Wednesday, Garza raised questions about why the policy came up in the first place and how it protected students.
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