NASW-CA Ardently Opposes Parental Notification Policies and Stands with Transgender and Gender Diverse Youth
SACRAMENTO, CA – The National Association of Social Workers, California Chapter, stands by transgender and gender diverse youth (TGD) whose rights and safety are being systematically dismantled across the country. We recognize that California is not exempt from the issues of protecting the well-being of and culturally competent care for TGD youth, and that the fight for justice, equity, and affirming care is happening right here in our communities.
We condemn the harmful policies and practices being proposed and implemented across the state, particularly Parental Notification Policies being pushed through at the School Board level in California. One such entity is the Chino Valley Unified School District, which recently passed a policy requiring schools to out transgender and gender diverse students to their parents or guardians. During the meeting where the policy was passed (4-1), NASW-CA leaders, students, parents, community members, and California’s State Superintendent of Schools Tony Thurmond advocated on behalf of TGD youth, citing the very real harms that TGD youth face when they are unable to access safe, affirmative spaces that welcome their identity and experience. In a direct attempt to silence ongoing support for these students, Tony Thurmond – a fellow social worker – was removed from this meeting.
This week, State Attorney General Rob Bonta filed a lawsuit to stop the Chino Valley Unified School District from implementing these harmful policies, arguing the policy could harm TGD youth mentally, emotionally, psychologically and even physically. The lawsuit argues that the policy violates the civil and constitutional rights of students.
We applaud Attorney General Bonta, as well as Tony Thurmond and NASW-CA leaders who have uplifted this issue and confronted these harmful policies. Within Bonta’s complaint, NASW-CA’s Region H Director and school social worker Ahmanise Sanati, LCSW, PPSC, is quoted, warning that:
Policy 5020.1 “directly contradicts” social workers’ “oath to do no harm in our work with students,” including social workers’ commitment to “put our students’ safety and trust first.”
NASW-CA wholeheartedly supports gender-affirming and gender-inclusive care that allows transgender and gender diverse youth to receive accurate information about gender identity and expression, and to choose to share their experience and preferences in safe and supportive environments without the threat of being outed by school staff and administrators.
Social workers abide by the highest of ethical standards, and are committed to social change, advancing social justice, and promoting the well-being of our clients and communities. We will ardently oppose legislation which erodes these values or perpetuates harm, and we will wholeheartedly support legislation which advances these values and the well-being of vulnerable and oppressed individuals and groups of people. We call on social workers across the state and country to stand up and join us in that fight.