OAKLAND — California Attorney General Rob Bonta today issued a statement following Anderson Union High School District Board’s decision to implement a mandatory gender identity disclosure policy detrimental to the well-being of LGBTQ+ students on August 22, 2023. Modeled after forced outing policies recently enacted by certain school districts, the 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 soon after Attorney General Bonta issued a statement denouncing Temecula and Murrieta Valley Unified Boards’ decisions to implement a copy-cat mandatory gender identity disclosure policy targeting transgender and gender nonconforming students.
“It is deeply troubling to learn that school districts are putting the well-being of transgender and gender nonconforming students at risk by forcibly outing them,” said Attorney General Bonta. “My office stands against any actions that perpetuate discrimination, harassment, or exclusion within our educational institutions. We will remain committed to ensuring that school policies are designed to foster an environment of inclusivity, acceptance, and safety for all.”
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 issued a statement following Temecula and Murrieta Valley Unified School District Boards’ decisions to implement a copy-cat mandatory gender identity disclosure policy targeting transgender and gender nonconforming students. Earlier this month, Attorney General Bonta announced opening a civil rights investigation into potential legal violations by Chino Valley Unified School District’s adoption of its mandatory gender identity 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.