SAN FRANCISCO—With California school districts facing pushback for supporting trans and other LGBTQ+ students, a federal district court has dismissed a case challenging the state’s policy of allowing students to be their authentic selves at school without fear of being outed at school or at home.
In the ruling issued Tuesday, United States District Judge John A. Mendez held that parents do not have a constitutional right to force schools to out students who use different names and pronouns at school than those they were assigned at birth. The judge also made clear that schools have an interest in protecting students’ privacy and ensuring they aren’t bullied or harassed.
Jennifer Chou, staff attorney at the ACLU of Northern California issued the following statement in response:
“We are pleased that the court has affirmed that in California, trans and nonbinary students get to decide on their own terms when and how to have conversations about gender and identity at school and at home.
“Many California parents support their children for who they are and favor policies that allow students to be themselves on campus and give schools the flexibility to help students work towards family acceptance when needed. Young people thrive when they have parental support and feel safe sharing their full identities at home, but it can be harmful to force them to do so before they’re ready. Allowing students to be their authentic selves saves lives; it also improves their well-being, family trust, and academic outcomes.”