Support GSA Network this Give OUT Day to continue uplifting trans, queer, and Two-Spirit youth power.

The city of Chino, California has been an epicenter of conversation surrounding transgender student discrimination in schools. Amidst waves of “parental notification” bills, in mid-2023 Chino Valley Unified School District became front and center, introducing a blatantly transphobic forced-outing policy. The policy required school staff to notify a student’s parents or guardians if the student had requested to be identified as transgender or gender nonconforming—regardless of the student’s wishes or circumstances at home.

During a school board meeting discussing this policy, members of conservative right-wing groups and school board members themselves referred to being transgender as a “delusion” and a “dismantling of our humanity”. Despite students voicing how this policy would endanger them and sharing stories about the harms they faced when coming out to their families before they were ready, the school board passed the policy. Its passage was met with controversy, with criticism drawing on the policy’s explicit targeting of transgender and gender non-conforming youth, as well as the harm that forced-outing can have on a student’s social, emotional, and physical well-being and safety. 

Following a coordinated effort through our statewide partners, the state Attorney General of California was able to sue Chino Valley Unified School District. In October of 2023, the policy was deemed unconstitutional and discriminatory. The policy was revised with updated language that does not explicitly single out trans students. However, it maintained a parental notification clause if a student requests for their name or gender marker to be changed. It also includes new guidance requiring parents to be notified if their child participates in any school-sponsored activities. This poses a particular concern for us as it would require parents to be notified if their child joins or participates in a GSA club. 

“Forced Outing” policies are not anomalies, or unique to the Chino Valley Unified School District, but rather a right-wing tactic becoming more common across the country under the guise of “parental rights”. We know these attacks are a targeted assault on trans and queer humanity, and school districts such as Chino Valley are acting as testing grounds to see the viability and success of forced-outing policies at school district levels. As these types of policies continue to grow in popularity and sophistication in obscuring their anti-trans intent, the need to organize on a grassroots level is intensified.  

In response to the current state of Chino Valley’s schoolboard policy, GSA Network’s Youth Organizing team has been uplifting local calls to action in the Chino Valley community and surrounding areas. Within our Membership Meetings this school year (spaces where members of GSAs across the state gather virtually), GSAN staff have held space to discuss the school board policy. The conversations were met with energy, appreciation, and nuanced additions from members. Such policies have also highlighted the need for continued work with our Know Your Rights training, in which we educate GSA Clubs on the policies that protect their clubs and students in California and train students to identify problems and solutions to the issues affecting them. We continue to focus our efforts on meeting the moment and strengthening our approach to organizing to sustain our movement toward trans and queer youth liberation.