Chico school board upholds 'parental secrecy policy' regarding students' gender identity

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Wednesday evening the Chico Unified School Board in Chico, California voted 3-2 in favor of schools having the ability to keep secrets from parents. The board agreed to keep their current policy, which directs staff to not reveal a child’s gender identity to parents, it instead allows a child to determine when the school is allowed to tell parents about a change in their gender identity. 

According to a report from Fox News, the policy, called the “parental secrecy policy” by the school board, came up for a vote after the Center for American Liberty filed a lawsuit against the school district. The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Aurora Regino who told her story to the school board before the vote. The suit alleges that a school guidance counselor in the district helped Region’s 11-year old daughter transition without her knowledge or consent. 

Regino stated that her daughter’s identity was affirmed immediately by the counselor, and even after she told the counselor that she wanted to tell her family about this change, the counselor did nothing to help in that regard. 

Fox News notes that “State law in California establishes protections for students based on a number of characteristics, including gender identity.”

This is just one of many conflicts around the country where parents are fighting for their rights to know what is going on with their children at school. In Florida the parents of a sixth grade student at Paterson Elementary School in Fleming Island, Florida are suing their school district for hiding their child’s transition from them. In their case it was only after the child attempted suicide twice at school that the parents were told about their childs new identity. 

Sage’s Law in Virginia was in response to a young girl’s gender identity being kept a secret from parents. Sage ran away with a stranger she met online the day her mother found out about her new name and pronouns. Sage was later found in a closet, gang raped. Further the state withheld custody of the child and sent her to a boys home, after her parents accidentally misgendered her at a court hearing. 

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