The Chico Unified School District reportedly has a policy in place to keep the gender identity of students a secret from parents. While the policy does not appear to be posted online, Action News Now reported that one parent sued the school district after a school “socially transitioned her daughter’s gender identity without her knowledge.” The parent sued the school district as a result.
The parent’s daughter was reportedly seeing a counselor at Sierra View Elementary School for mental health issues and told the counselor that “she felt like a boy.” Action News Now reported that this counselor asked the girl if she wanted to “be referred to by male pronouns.” The parent’s lawsuit stated that her daughter “felt pressured and responded with a yes.” The school reportedly “started socially transitioning her daughter in December,” and she didn’t find out until months later. Action News Now continued to report:
[The parent] told Action News Now during that time her daughter was bullied, her mental health got worse, and her daughter was uncomfortable with the sudden transition she fully didn’t understand. [The parent] went to the school to address why she wasn’t informed of the transition and was told it was due to a Parental Secrecy Policy in relation to Assembly Bill 1226.
On July 13, 2023, the Sacramento Bee reported that a “federal judge this week dismissed a lawsuit challenging the Chico Unified School District’s policy of protecting the gender identities of students from their parents.” The lawsuit belonged to the previously mentioned parent. The newspaper continued to report:
U.S. District Court Judge John Mendez said in a ruling that the authority of the district to safeguard the information overrode parental rights. In doing so, Mendez also kept intact guidance by California school officials to shield the privacy rights of transgender students.
The newspaper then reported more about the case:
[The parent’s] child, then 11, began identifying as a different gender than was assigned at birth and told a school counselor. The counselor encouraged the student to adopt a new identity, go by different pronouns and told the child’s teachers about the change, according to the lawsuit.