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Rocklin Unified School District approves policy that allows teachers to out transgender students

Rocklin’s new controversial policy has sparked discourse throughout the county.
A handful of schools in California have passed this policy, with backlash following close behind. Many parents have begun protesting against Rocklin’s decision in support of transgender and gender nonconforming students. 

PC: Ted Eytan
A handful of schools in California have passed this policy, with backlash following close behind. Many parents have begun protesting against Rocklin’s decision in support of transgender and gender nonconforming students. PC: Ted Eytan

On Sept. 6, Rocklin Unified School District held a board meeting in regards to a gender identification policy. This new policy requires teachers to alert parents of their child’s identity without permission, and has received backlash from people throughout the county. The meeting lasted for six hours, ending with the policy being instated. 

Policy summary  

The policy states that when a student wants to identify as a gender outside theirs at birth, their guardian must be contacted within three school days.

This also applies to requests of being called a name differing from their birth certificate and common nicknames, pronouns differing from their biological sex, and requests to participate in activities that are sex segregated. A change of bathrooms and changing facilities also apply, and require a notification home. 

Classroom teachers, counselors, and site administrators are all required to contact home and inform them of the requests. These alerts can be postponed up to 48 hours when it’s deemed unsafe for the student, but will still be sent out.

Concerns and perspectives

After this policy was brought in to discuss, some parents began to gather outside of the school in disapproval. Many of those protesting believe that this policy would place closeted students in danger due to unaccepting parents.

“We’re crying out saying ‘hey this is not written in an appropriate healthy way, this is going to get people hurt and put you into uncomfortable situations,’” one father said in a video with ABC10.  “I would absolutely say they are not representing the vast majority of parents.”

Some of Rocklin’s own teachers agree with the misguidance of approving the policy, and don’t feel comfortable being put into such an awkward position. “This particular school board doesn’t seem to care about the voice of the community,” teacher Colleen Rowe said in an interview with ABC10. “Only the voice of a few [voting] and most of those few don’t even have kids in our schools.”

On the other hand, some parents are thankful that they are being further involved with their child’s school life. They see this as an opportunity to become closer with their child, and learn more about their lives during school.

“There has been an effort to get parents out of their children’s lives, and to get their parents out of schools and education,” a different father said when speaking with CBS. “I am really proud of our Rocklin school board for standing up and saying parents should be involved in their students’ lives.”

What now?

California’s Attorney General Rob Bonta wrote the school board in disapproval. Bonta advised them to reconsider their decision due to his belief of the policy being a violation of the state’s constitution. 

“All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights,” Bonta quotes from the California Constitution in his message to the board. “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.” 

In late August, Bonta was faced with a similar situation with Chino Valley Unified School District. After passing a similar policy, Bonta filed a temporary restraining order, halting its introduction into the Chino Valley district. 

The board has acknowledged the concerns attached to the policy and reassured that they are willing to listen. 

“We believe that the best way to address these challenges is together, with open communication and clear expectations,” their statement said. “The board’s action to strengthen parent notification and communication reinforces our commitment to include parents in school activities and decisions related to their child.”

The board will meet again on Sept. 20 and will address more of these concerns and comments.

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About the Contributor
Sasha Hulsey, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Sasha is currently a junior at Oakmont, and is in her second year of journalism. She is particularly interested in writing articles about movies, music, and just pop culture in general. News stories also interest her, but it really just depends on the topic. Outside of school she is either at the movie theater, working, or watching star trek. Sasha is excited for her future involvement in Norse Notes and hopes to continue her career in journalism.

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