Judge says schools can withhold students' gender identity from parents

By Jen Krausz on
 July 17, 2023

A federal judge in California said that the Constitution doesn't give parents the right to know when their children change their gender identity at school, dismissing a lawsuit by a teacher against a school for doing just that.

Under the ruling, schools do not have to notify parents when students socially transition to a different gender than their biological sex or use alternative names or pronouns at school.

State law in California says it is the student's sole decision whether to disclose this information to their parents.

Republicans in the state are trying to change the law so parents will be informed or consulted, but there is little hope that any new legislation will get through the Democrat-controlled legislature.

In a poll commissioned by advocacy group Parents Defending Education, three out of four parents think consent should be required before a student can socially transition at school or receive so-called gender-affirming health care, and 71% thought schools should be required to inform parents of these changes.

It is unconscionable that parents should not be informed or required to give consent to decisions made by their minor children in the area of their gender identity or any other area of their lives. Parents are supposed to be responsible for their children until age 18, and leaving them out of these decisions undermines that authority.