California Dems Are Working To Keep Parents In The Dark On Students Gender Transitions

California Democrats announced Wednesday that they were reviving a bill barring school districts from adopting policies notifying parents that their child wants to transition.

California Republicans failed to pass a bill in 2023 that would have required schools to inform parents if their child wished to transition but several school districts implemented individual policies anyway causing an uproar from transgender activists, according to the Fresno Bee. In response, Democratic Assemblyman Chris Ward and the state’s LGBTQ Caucus announced they were gutting a bill proposed earlier in the year regarding mental health services in schools to now focus on prohibiting school districts from requiring educators to notify parents of a student’s gender identity, according to a press release.

The newly amended bill titled the “Support Academic Futures and Educators for Today’s Youth Act (SAFETY Act)” would make California the first state to ban transgender notification policies, according to the press release.

“Teachers should not be the gender police and violate the trust and safety of the students in their classrooms,” Ward said. “Parents should be talking to their children, and the decision for a student to come out to their family members should be on their own terms. The SAFETY Act simply ensures that conversations about gender identity and sexuality happen at home without interference from others outside of the family unit.”

Among the bill’s supporters are California Superintendent Tony Thurmond, Becca Cramer-Mowder, legislative advocate at ACLU California Action and state Democratic Attorney General Rob Bonta, according to the press release. Bonta filed a lawsuit against the Chino Valley Unified School District in August 2023, claiming that the district’s policy requiring parental notification was discriminatory and “wrongfully endangers the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of non-conforming students.”

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: ACLU march participants carry signs in support of rights for transgender people during the 2023 LA Pride Parade in Hollywood on June 11, 2023 in Los Angeles, California. The annual parade draws thousands of revelers to Hollywood Boulevard. According to the American Civil Liberties Union, nearly 500 anti-LGBTQ+ bills have been introduced across the U.S. in state legislatures since the beginning of 2023. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

ACLU march participants carry signs in support of rights for transgender people during the 2023 LA Pride Parade in Hollywood on June 11, 2023, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Parental rights advocates who spoke to the Daily Caller News Foundation, however, argued that the bill would strip parents of their constitutional rights. If passed, Jonathan Zachreson, co-founder of Protect Kids California and a school board member at Roseville City School District, told the DCNF it is likely that parents and possibly teachers will sue over the law.

“Anytime politicians want to force schools to keep secrets from parents about their own children, there is always cause for concern. Schools simply should not be complicit in the secret social transition of children,” Zacherson said. “Parents and teachers have already successfully sued school districts for having secrecy policies similar to what this bill would require. Nothing in this bill could prevent parents or teachers from suing school districts and the state over this unconstitutional bill. If passed, it likely would be overturned in the courts.”

“If the bill is re-written as Assemblyman Ward says, it would threaten the right of California parents to direct the care and upbringing of their children,” Alex Nester, an investigative fellow with Parents Defending Education, further explained to the DCNF. “This would be detrimental for California families. It is not the job of schools to decide if and when a child should socially transition. It’s frightening that some districts are providing minors access to serious, life-altering medical services—including in some cases referrals for plan B, abortions, and even hormone replacement therapy—while at the same time, states like California have low medical ages of consent.”

The bill will also include protections to ensure “school staff are not retaliated against for refusing to forcibly out a student,” according to the press release. Wenyuan Wu, the executive director for the Californians for Equal Rights F0undation, told the DCNF that she was concerned that this provision in the bill would incentivize “activist teachers” to impose their will on vulnerable students.

“Underage children cannot consent to irreversible gender transition procedures. In classroom settings, they are not voluntary participants and are a captured audience,” Wu said. “Activist teachers who help children transition or hide the ever-changing gender identities can not be trusted by the parents and the community to protect the kids. More often than not, these activist teachers not only provide support but also actively coax, co-opt and inculcate students into the secular religion of cultural Marxism. They should not be entitled to immunity.”

Ward and the LGBTQ Caucus did not respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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