Rocklin school district under fire by state for controversial policy

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

(FOX40.COM) — The Rocklin Unified School District Board of Supervisors is facing backlash from educators in the district and the California Department of Education due to a new policy the board approved in September.

On Sep. 6, the board approved a policy with a 4-1 vote that requires school staff members to notify parents if their child is requesting to identify under a different name or gender than that assigned at birth.

The policy revision was made under the Parent Rights and Responsibilities and Administrative Regulation AR5145.3 Non-discrimination/Harassment. The revision reads as follows:

To be notified within three (3) school days when their child requests to be identified as a gender other than the child’s biological sex or gender; requests to use a name that differs from their legal name (other than a commonly recognized nickname) or to use pronouns that do not align with the child’s biological sex or gender; requests 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 shall be made by the classroom teacher, counselor, or site administrator. Such notification shall only be delayed up to 48 hours to fulfill mandated reporter requirements when a staff member in conjunction with the site administrator determines based on credible evidence that such notification may result in substantial jeopardy to the child’s safety.

AR5020 Parent Rights and Responsibilities and Administrative Regulation AR5145.3 Non-Discrimination/Harassment, Item 21

Immediately following the board’s decision, the Rocklin Teachers Professional Association filed a lawsuit against the district for the policy they view as an “illegal, forced ‘outing’ policy.”

The decision even garnered the attention of State Attorney General Rob Bonta.

“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 in a September 2023 statement.

The state has taken action against the district this month after the California Department of Education agreed with the complaint filed by the teachers association.

They concluded that the policy fails to comply with Education Code 220, which focuses on discrimination.

No person shall be subjected to discrimination on the basis of disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, nationality, race or ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or any other characteristic that is contained in the definition of hate crimes set forth in Section 422.55 of the Penal Code, including immigration status, in any program or activity conducted by an educational institution that receives, or benefits from, state financial assistance, or enrolls pupils who receive state student financial aid.

California Education Code

The district informed that they were contacted on Feb. 1 by the CDE and are currently undergoing a review of their report.

Following receiving the letter from the CDE, the district had until Tuesday to inform all school administration and staff of the alleged state law violation and to not implement the policy.

Along with informing the school admin and staff, the district has 10 days following receiving the letter to prove to the CDE that the district carried out the two requests.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.