A U.S. legislator put forward a bill in the House on Wednesday that would mandate schools to obtain parental consent prior to a student altering their pronouns.
The legislation was proposed in reaction to a lawsuit by a parent who claims their child began secretly transitioning genders at a California school without their knowledge, The Daily Caller reported.
The “Prohibiting Parental Secrecy Policies in Schools Act,” which is sponsored by California Republican Representative Doug LaMalfa, proposes that schools that fail to establish policies mandating parental consent before students can change their names or pronouns will lose federal funding.
LaMalfa explained to the Daily Caller News Foundation that the bill was crafted in response to a lawsuit filed by Aurora Regino, who is suing the Chico Unified School District over claims that a counselor assisted her daughter in transitioning genders without her knowledge, the report said.
“[Regino] came and talked to my team. My heart went out to her as we talked,” the California Republican told the outlet. “This is her daughter and the school system is trying to align things in such a way that kids shouldn’t trust their parents. Well, who should they trust? Nine-to-five bureaucrats or the person that’s with them seven days a week otherwise? It puts a wedge between kids and their parents — that’s pretty messed up.”
In January, The Center for American Liberty filed a lawsuit on behalf of Regino after she learned that a school counselor had supposedly assisted her 10-year-old daughter in transitioning genders. The counselor allegedly persuaded the girl to use male pronouns and a male name while at school.
Regino stated that she never met the counselor, who apparently advised her daughter that she was a boy and encouraged her to “come out” to others before informing her mother about it, the report said.
According to Regino, the California Department of Education’s guidance prohibits school districts from informing parents if their child has altered their name or pronouns while at school. The Chico Unified School District has reportedly implemented this policy, the outlet noted further.
“I spent a lot of time within our own district trying to plead to them to stop what they were doing, that it was actually harmful to my daughter, what they did, not beneficial,” Regino told the Daily Caller. “I was just trying to plead with them to make sure that this didn’t happen to another child. That it was actually very harmful, that she was just having some distress or some confusion and that she didn’t even understand what being transgender meant, or what it would entail to even come out and transition. She didn’t know the repercussions or the challenges that she would have to face.”
In addition to the federal legislation, California State Representative Bill Essayli, a Republican, on Monday introduced a similar bill in response to the lawsuit in the state Assembly. His bill proposes that public school administrations must notify parents in writing within three days if their child is changing their name and pronouns. Additionally, the legislation would mandate school districts to inform parents if their child is joining a sports team or using a restroom or locker that does not align with their biological sex.
“There’s two bills currently pending at the state and federal level to address this issue,” Eric Sell, Regino’s attorney, said to the Daily Caller “Frankly, this is incredibly important legislation, because this is happening across the country. It’s happening in California and Maine. It’s happening in Idaho. It’s happening everywhere.
“There’s this notion out there that kids need these safe spaces to adopt these new gender identities, and that schools should provide the safe space for them and keep it all secret from parents. But these schools are playing with fire. This is really dangerous stuff,” Sell added.