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Rocklin Unified approve divisive transgender identity policy

Rocklin Unified approve divisive transgender identity policy
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School board members of the Rocklin Unified School District approved a policy change that will require teachers and staff to notify parents if their student wants to change how they’re identified.The Wednesday meeting, which started around 6:30 p.m., drew hundreds either in support or against that policy change. The policy states that teachers and staff would be required to notify parents if their child wants to be identified as a gender other than the biological sex. Parents against the policy worry the change would lead to the forced outing of children who were not ready or did not feel safe to share their gender identity with their families. Some of those in support of the change shared they feel the withholding of that information would lead to a lack of trust between students, school staff and families.More people against the policy than those in favor spoke out during the public comment. Board members voted 4-1 to approve the policy just before 12:40 a.m. Thursday. Board trustees Julie Hupp, Tiffany Saathoff, Rachelle Price and Dereck Counter voted in favor of the policy amendment. Michelle Sutherland was the lone member to vote against it.Under the policy, parents and guardians are to be notified within three school days when their child requests the following:To be identified as a gender other than the child’s biological sex or genderTo use a name that differs from their legal name (other than a commonly recognized nickname)To use pronouns that do not align with the child’s biological sex or genderAccess to sex-segregated school programs and activities, or bathrooms or changing facilities that do not align with the child’s biological sex or gender Notification can be delayed up to 48 hours to fulfill mandated reporter requirements if a staff member, in conjunction with the site administrator, has credible evidence that notification could result in “substantial jeopardy” to the child’s safety.Earlier Wednesday, a judge ordered a temporary stop on a similar policy in the Chino Valley Unified School District in Southern California. California Attorney General Rob Bonta condemned the vote in Rocklin in a statement Thursday, saying he had sent a letter to the board in opposition to what he called a “forced outing policy.” “Despite our ongoing commitment to stand against any actions that target and discriminate against California’s transgender and gender-nonconforming youth, Rocklin Unified has chosen to endanger their civil rights by adopting a policy that forcibly outs them without consideration of their safety and well-being,” Bonta said. “I have said it before and I will say it again: We will not tolerate any policy that perpetuates discrimination, harassment, or exclusion within our educational institutions.”The statement noted a 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey where 10% of respondents said and immediate family member was violent to them because they were transgender, and fewer than 1 in 3 transgender and gender nonbinary youth found their home to be gender-affirming. –KCRA 3’s Daniel Macht contributed to this story.

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School board members of the Rocklin Unified School District approved a policy change that will require teachers and staff to notify parents if their student wants to change how they’re identified.

The Wednesday meeting, which started around 6:30 p.m., drew hundreds either in support or against that policy change. The policy states that teachers and staff would be required to notify parents if their child wants to be identified as a gender other than the biological sex.

Parents against the policy worry the change would lead to the forced outing of children who were not ready or did not feel safe to share their gender identity with their families. Some of those in support of the change shared they feel the withholding of that information would lead to a lack of trust between students, school staff and families.

More people against the policy than those in favor spoke out during the public comment.

Board members voted 4-1 to approve the policy just before 12:40 a.m. Thursday. Board trustees Julie Hupp, Tiffany Saathoff, Rachelle Price and Dereck Counter voted in favor of the policy amendment. Michelle Sutherland was the lone member to vote against it.

Under the policy, parents and guardians are to be notified within three school days when their child requests the following:

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  • To be identified as a gender other than the child’s biological sex or gender
  • To use a name that differs from their legal name (other than a commonly recognized nickname)
  • To use pronouns that do not align with the child’s biological sex or gender
  • Access to sex-segregated school programs and activities, or bathrooms or changing facilities that do not align with the child’s biological sex or gender

Notification can be delayed up to 48 hours to fulfill mandated reporter requirements if a staff member, in conjunction with the site administrator, has credible evidence that notification could result in “substantial jeopardy” to the child’s safety.

Earlier Wednesday, a judge ordered a temporary stop on a similar policy in the Chino Valley Unified School District in Southern California.

California Attorney General Rob Bonta condemned the vote in Rocklin in a statement Thursday, saying he had sent a letter to the board in opposition to what he called a “forced outing policy.”

“Despite our ongoing commitment to stand against any actions that target and discriminate against California’s transgender and gender-nonconforming youth, Rocklin Unified has chosen to endanger their civil rights by adopting a policy that forcibly outs them without consideration of their safety and well-being,” Bonta said. “I have said it before and I will say it again: We will not tolerate any policy that perpetuates discrimination, harassment, or exclusion within our educational institutions.”

The statement noted a 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey where 10% of respondents said and immediate family member was violent to them because they were transgender, and fewer than 1 in 3 transgender and gender nonbinary youth found their home to be gender-affirming.

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–KCRA 3’s Daniel Macht contributed to this story.





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