OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a statement following Murrieta Valley Unified School District School Board’s decision to implement a mandatory gender identity disclosure policy harmful to the well-being of LGBTQ+ students on August 10, 2023. The enacted policy requires schools to inform parents, with minimal exceptions, whenever a student requests to use a name or pronoun different from that on their birth certificate or official records, even without the student’s permission. The policy also requires notification if a student requests to use facilities or participates in programs that don’t align with their sex on official records. The vote comes days after Attorney General Bonta announced opening a civil rights investigation into potential legal violations by Chino Valley Unified School District’s adoption of an identical mandatory gender identity disclosure policy.
“I am deeply disturbed to learn another school district has put at risk the safety and privacy of transgender and gender nonconforming students by adopting a forced outing policy,” said Attorney General Bonta. “My office remains committed to ensuring school policies do not target or seek to discriminate against California’s most vulnerable communities. California will not stand for violations of our students’ civil rights.”
The Attorney General has a substantial interest in protecting the legal rights, physical safety, and mental health of children in California schools, and in protecting them from trauma, harassment, bullying, and exposure to violence and threats of violence. Research shows that protecting a transgender student’s ability to make choices about how and when to inform others is critical to their well-being, as transgender students are exposed to high levels of harassment and mistreatment at school and in their communities. Seventy-seven percent of students known or perceived as transgender reported negative experiences such as harassment and assault, and over half of transgender and nonbinary youth reported seriously considering suicide in the past year.
Attorney General Bonta is committed to defending the rights and safety of our LGBTQ+ youth. Just days ago, Attorney General Bonta announced opening an investigation into a CVUSD’s adoption of a mandatory gender disclosure policy. Prior to opening the investigation, Attorney General Bonta in July sent a letter to Superintendent Norman Enfield and the Board of Education cautioning them of the dangers of adopting its forced outing policy, emphasizing the potential infringements on students’ privacy rights and educational opportunities.