Earlier this week California Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit in state court against Chino Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) over a parental rights policy it passed requiring parents to be notified if their child asks to be identified at school as a different sex. The policy, now adopted by four school districts around the state, is being promoted by Assemblyman Bill Essayli and a group of parental rights organizations who want to make sure schools uphold the rights of parents to guide and direct the upbringing of their own children.
Bonta claims the policy “endangers” kids and violates California’s Equal Protection Clause, which says everyone is to be treated equally; California’s Education and Government Code which ensures equal rights and opportunities for all children regardless of gender identity; and California’s constitutional right to privacy.
“We’re in court challenging Chino Valley Unified’s forced outing policy for wrongfully and unconstitutionally discriminating against and violating the privacy rights of LGBTQ+ students,” Bonta said in a statement released on Monday. “The forced outing policy wrongfully endangers the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of non-conforming students who lack an accepting environment in the classroom and at home.”
However, the proponents of the Parental Notification Policy intend to fight this lawsuit, confident that state and federal laws don’t give children privacy rights from their own parents, especially at young ages.
CVUSD President Sonja Shaw isn’t surprised at the reaction from Sacramento politicians. “Once again this is government overreach and the political cartel of Bonta, Newsom, and Thurmond is using their muscle and taxpayers’ dollars to shut parents out of their children’s lives,” she said. “Bonta can’t even cite a law we are breaking in the documents and I find it a joke.
Ultimately, Shaw believes the lawsuit is meant to scare school board members around the state considering adopting the same notification policy. School districts in Temecula, Murrieta, and Anderson have approved this policy with other districts planning votes in the near future.
Assemblyman Bill Essayli, the California legislator who first introduced the Notification Policy as a proposed bill, AB 1314, came out swinging after Bonta announced his lawsuit. “Today the California Attorney General officially declared war on every parent in the state of California,” Essayli stated. “The fact that he is spending taxpayer resources on suing school districts for providing information to parents is remarkable and inconsistent with a century of Supreme Court precedent holding that parents have a constitutional right to raise their children without government interference. He will lose in both the court of law and public opinion. I implore the Attorney General to instead focus on tackling the massive crime wave California is experiencing.”
California Family Council President Jonathan Keller also finds Bonta’s lawsuit disturbing. “Today’s announcement from Attorney General Bonta is a disturbing departure from the state’s traditional role of supporting parents as the primary decision-makers in their children’s lives,” Keller said. “Instead, it appears the government is stepping in as the de facto parent, a move unsupported by legal precedent. This lawsuit undermines parents, particularly those with views that diverge from the prevailing political narrative, and redirects taxpayer funds away from real issues like rising crime rates.”
One of the constitutional attorneys defending the Parent Notification Policy is attorney Dean Broyles, president of the National Center for Law and Policy. He says Bonta is about to be “schooled” in an expensive legal lesson of Federalism stating that the US Constitution supersedes any state law including the California constitution.
“The right of parents to direct the care, education, and upbringing of their children is a fundamental right of all Americans, safeguarded by the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment is sacrosanct and is recognized by more than 100 years of Supreme Court precedent,” Broyles explains. “California Attorney General Rob Bonta continues to seek to crush local control of schools and trash parental rights by now resorting to the courts to coerce CVUSD to conform to his bent will.
“His transparent purpose is to slow down the growing number of school districts adopting the model parental notification policy. Why?” Broyles asks. “Because he is apparently more concerned about woke ideology than sound constitutionality—or the actual health and safety of children. Overreaching Bonta apparently believes the absolutely insane notion that parents do not have the right to know what is happening with their child’s health and safety in our public schools.”
The comment made by Kevin Snider, Chief Counsel for the Pacific Justice institute, regarding Bonta’s lawsuit was short and to the point. “The 23-page lawsuit can be boiled down to this: ‘Government good. Family bad.’ ‘Educrats enlightened. Parents, stupid.’ ‘Campus safe. Home dangerous,'” he said.