Metro Weekly

The Riley Roundup: Transgender Educational Warfare, Part 1

Transgender issues and efforts to restrict trans visibility are increasingly in the spotlight when it comes to education issues.

California Flag, Original image by Drei Kubik on Unsplash


A California Superior Court judge has paused a school district’s policy requiring school employees to “out” students who identify as transgender, request to go by a name or pronouns that don’t match their assigned sex at birth, or attempt to join activities designated for a sex other than the one listed on a birth certificate. 

Per the Sacramento Bee, San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Tom Garza issued a temporary restraining order blocking the Chino Valley Unified School District from enforcing the policy, which is one of six school districts in the state to have adopted policies requiring parental notification when a student doesn’t conform to gender norms or stereotypes.

The Chino Valley policy was challenged by Attorney General Rob Bonta, who argued that the policy violates the privacy rights of LGBTQ students, and endangers the physical, mental, and emotional well-being of transgender and gender-nonconforming students.

The Orange Unified School District was the most recent to adopt a policy similar to Chino Valley’s — coming after Bonta’s lawsuit was filed — with school boards in Murietta, Temecula, the Anderson Union High School District in Shasta County, in the northern part of the state, and the Rocklin School District, northeast of Sacramento.

The policies are increasingly being adopted in conservative enclaves throughout the state as part of a larger societal backlash against transgender visibility — which has been encouraged by conservative influencers and Republican Party leaders.

A group of activists recently filed a ballot initiative — one of three targeting transgender youth visibility — that would impose similar parental notification policies on districts throughout the state.


The Alaska State Board of Education recently approved a proposed regulation barring transgender girls from competing on female-designated high school sports teams for any districts that are part of the Alaska School Activities Association. The policy was approved despite hundreds of state residents submitting comments opposing the proposal during a 30-day public comment period.

The new regulation, if approved by Alaska Republican Attorney General Treg Taylor, would effectively make Alaska the 24th state to impose such a restriction on transgender athletes, reports The Hill.

The state Legislature failed to approve a similar bill, championed by Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy, earlier this year. Previously, ASAA guidelines allowed member schools to decide for themselves whether to permit transgender individuals to participate on sports teams that align with their gender identity. 

The American Civil Liberties Union of Alaska has come out in opposition to the policy.

“The Board has totally disregarded the ways this policy violates the privacy of young Alaskans, and sanctions wholesale discrimination against transgender children,” Michael Garvey, advocacy director for the ACLU of Alaska, said in a statement. “The decision to approve this proposal is a direct attack on Alaskan students who simply want to play sports, like any other kid.”


Campus Pride has removed four public colleges in Florida and Texas from this year’s list of the most LGBTQ-friendly campuses, which the organization publishes annually. All four have previously graced the list in past years. 

The institutions removed from the list are the University of North Florida, the University of Central Florida, Texas Tech University, and the University of Texas at Dallas.

All had previously earned five stars on the Campus Pride Index due to “exceptional LGBTQ+ programs and services.” But due to recent laws passed in both states restricting LGBTQ visibility, Campus Pride removed the colleges on the grounds that those programs and services are either being cut back or eliminated entirely.

In Florida, the Republican-led legislature and the administration of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis have sought to bar transgender individuals from gender-affirming facilities, even threatening college students or faculty who use them with suspension, expulsion or termination.

According to Inside Higher Ed, public colleges in the state have been ordered to report on students who receive gender-related healthcare services at campus health facilities, and the legislature passed a bill defunding diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in May.

In Texas, Republican Gov. Greg Abbott signed a bill into law in June banning all programs at state public colleges that are “designed or implemented in reference to race, color, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation.” As a result, some college LGBTQ resource centers have shut down in order to comply with the law.

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