California Senate Passes Bill to Support LGBTQ Pupils and End Parental Notification Debate

The California Senate has passed a bill that would ban parental notification for gender changes in public schools, specifically TK-12, and provide more resources to increase parental support of LGBTQ pupils. State leaders, including the attorney general, argue that these efforts harm transgender children.

In recent years, school districts across California have adopted measures requiring parents to be notified if their children request to change their pronouns, go by a different name, or use facilities or school programs for children of the opposite gender. California Attorney General Rob Bonta has responded by supporting lawsuits against these school districts, while California State Superintendent Tony Thurmond supports Assembly Bill 1955, which would ban these parental notification requirements.

Parental rights advocates argue that this bill would likely be found unconstitutional and undermine children's health and the trust between schools and parents. Jonathan Zachreson, whose Protect Kids California organization is collecting signatures for a statewide ballot initiative requiring parental notification, believes that notifying and involving parents is critical for the well-being of children and maintaining trust between schools and parents.

Liberty Justice Center, a legal nonprofit representing two California school districts and Protect Kids California in various cases against the state, reiterated their support for parental rights and said it would fight AB 1955 in court when it likely passes. LGBTQ advocates focus on trust between students and schools, and the SAFETY Act ensures that conversations about gender identity and sexuality happen at home without interference from others outside the family unit.

The United Kingdom's National Health Service stopped administering puberty blocking hormones to transgender minors earlier this year, and the United States Supreme Court has recently supported the constitutionality of state laws banning gender hormone therapy and gender reassignment surgery for transgender minors.


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