The Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District in Orange County is the latest California school district to consider a parental notification policy.
However, unlike other California school districts that have adopted a policy to inform parents if their child is transgender, the PYLUSD proposal currently doesn’t specifically mention gender identity but focuses on mental health, the Orange County Register reported.
Under the proposal, a designated school counselor would notify a student’s family within 24 hours if they have a “reasonable cause that doing so will avert a clear and present danger to the health, safety, or welfare” of the student or those around them.
“Due to the current nationwide mental health crisis exacerbated by the global pandemic, the Placentia Yorba Linda Unified School District recognizes the need for frequent, ongoing and oftentimes immediate communication between school administration, staff, and parents/guardians,” the policy said.
“Furthermore, with reports of depression, anxiety and suicide rates at an all-time high among public school students, action is needed to address this emerging crisis and support the health and welfare of district students.”
The policy states that the district wants to include parents in “the decision-making process for mental health and social-emotional issues of their children arising at school at the earliest possible time to prevent or reduce potential instances of harm to self or others as well as promote communication and positive relationships with parents and guardians.”
The policy comes at the request of Superintendent Alex Cherniss, who didn’t clarify if the proposal could be used to notify parents if their child is transgender.
“The policy speaks for itself and covers all matters related to parental notification.” Cherniss told the OC Register.
Several school districts across California including Orange, Murrieta Valley, Chino Valley and Temecula Valley have implemented parental notification policies that would alert parents if their child requests to use different names and pronouns or want to change sex-segregated programs such as athletic teams or changing facilities that don’t align with their biological sex.
Attorney General Rob Bonita sued Chino Valley Unified School District in August for adopting a policy that he says would “forcibly out transgender students and threaten their well-being,” the Associated Press reported.
A judge issued a temporary restraining order, blocking the policy for now. The next court hearing on the issue is scheduled for Friday.