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Bonta to School Boards Considering Parental Notification Policy: 'Relook at the Oath You Took'
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By David Taub, Senior Reporter
Published 7 months ago on
September 13, 2023

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Amid growing controversy about parental notification policies for transgender students who want to use different pronouns, state Attorney General Rob Bonta has a message for school board members.

“Relook at the oath that you took,” Bonta said Tuesday, pointing to the fact that trustees swear to uphold the laws of the state and country.

“This contemplated act that you may be considering, based on the policy that we’ve already seen in Chino Valley, if it’s like that policy, it violates the law. It violates the Constitution. It violates a state statute. And it will be you will be violating your oath.”

Several school districts passed a policy that would notify parents if a student wanted to use a different pronoun or facilities different than their birth gender. Bonta sued Chino Valley Unified School District. A judge last week slapped a temporary restraining order on the district to prevent the policy’s implementation, until an October court hearing.

At the Sept. 6 Clovis Unified school board meeting, several members of the public spoke on the issue of parental rights and the district’s transgender student policy. Some requested a written notification policy.

There is no indication that the Clovis Unified board will take up the issue.

How Notifying Parents About Sexual Identification Differs From Other School Messages

Bonta explained that parental notification about transgender students would violate state law on privacy and discrimination while letting parents know about poor grades or behavior is OK.

“It’s different because it targets only one group of people because of who they are, and they’re a protected class based on their gender identity. The other policies are for everybody. This policy is only to attack and discriminate against and single out one group of vulnerable students, those who are transgender and gender non-conforming. So that is the difference that everybody must see here. And it’s what makes it unlawful. It’s what makes it unconstitutional. And so it makes it violate the civil rights of children,” Bonta said.

Tracy Henderson, founder of California Parents United, a conservative parents advocacy group, on Thursday called Bonta’s comments legal horse manure. The U.S. Constitution and case law have for years supported parental rights, said Henderson, who was in Clovis on Wednesday to speak at the Liberty Lunch.

Henderson says she advises parents to challenge public officials on the authority they are citing and not let them hide behind talking points.

“I briefly read Bonta’s lawsuit, it’s filled with false facts,” she said. “It’s relying on talking points in the narrative that if you don’t affirm gender, your kid’s going to kill themselves, which is ridiculous. Kids who actually go all the way through to the medical mutilation part of it end up killing themselves. If you get to them with a therapist while they’re confused, they’re fine, if that makes any sense.

“The basic response is that parental rights have been revered and respected as fundamental rights in our judicial system for years. So he’s wrong.”

Anti-Hate Roundtable at Fresno Center

Bonta was in Fresno on Tuesday for a roundtable to discuss hate crimes and how to prevent them.

April Taylor-Salery, a board member of LGBT advocacy group Trans-E-Motion, was a panelist, and spoke about school safety, particularly in Clovis.

“We’re having our faith buildings for LGBT people being targeted now they’re being targeted at school and with movements to take our history and our literature out of libraries and pairing that with an increase in crime towards the LGBT community, but also within the faith community,” Taylor-Salery said.

She referred to a recent discussion at the Clovis City Council regarding LGBT-themed books at the library and vandalism in April at LGBT-friendly Our Saviour’s Lutheran Church of Fresno.

Several ethnic groups were represented, either on the panel or in the roundtable audience at the Fresno Center.

A common theme was the need for immigrant communities to report hate crimes and incidents.

David Rasavong
David Rasavong, a Fresno restaurateur, had to close his eatery because of untrue comments made online about his eatery steeped in racial bigotry and stereotypes. Rasavong says he plans to open a new Thai-oriented restaurant soon. On Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2023, he asked for more resources to help immigrants overcome their fear of reporting hate crimes and other issues. (GV Wire/Jahz Tello)

Immigrants Fear Retaliation for Reporting Hate Crimes

David Rasavong, a Fresno restaurateur, talked about having to close down his Tasty Thai eatery because of a negative racial stereotype perpetuated online. Social media messages implied his restaurant served dog meat even though it was completely untrue. Rasavong shut down his restaurant out of safety for his family and employees.

Rasavong asked Bonta and Fresno Mayor Jerry Dyer to make things easier for non-English speakers, such as his parents, to report hate crimes and other issues of concern without fear of retaliation.

“They don’t want to voice anything because they’re concerned about, well, am I going to get in trouble? Is there going to be retaliation? Am I going to get the support? It’s almost (as if they are) more afraid to say something,” Rasavong said.

“My only request would be to find resources or ways for (them to report these things).”

Rasavong said he is planning to open a new Thai-oriented restaurant soon.

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David Taub,
Senior Reporter
Curiosity drives David Taub. The award-winning journalist might be shy, but feels mighty with a recorder in his hand. He doesn't see it his job to "hold public officials accountable," but does see it to provide readers (and voters) the information needed to make intelligent choices. Taub has been honored with several writing awards from the California News Publishers Association. He's just happy to have his stories read. Joining GV Wire in 2016, Taub covers politics, government and elections, mainly in the Fresno/Clovis area. He also writes columns about local eateries (Appetite for Fresno), pro wrestling (Off the Bottom Rope), and media (Media Man). Prior to joining the online news source, Taub worked as a radio producer for KMJ and PowerTalk 96.7 in Fresno. He also worked as an assignment editor for KCOY-TV in Santa Maria, California, and KSEE-TV in Fresno. He has also worked behind the scenes for several sports broadcasts, including the NCAA basketball tournament, and the Super Bowl. When not spending time with his family, Taub loves to officially score Fresno Grizzlies games. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Taub is a die-hard Giants and 49ers fan. He graduated from the University of Michigan with dual degrees in communications and political science. Go Blue! You can contact David at 559-492-4037 or at Send an Email

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