Education Unions and Professional Associations File Amicus Brief to Protect Students from Forced Outings

Amicus Brief Argues Against Anti-LGBTQ+ Lawsuit

BURLINGAME – On Jan. 9, 2024, a coalition of unions and associations representing school employees filed an amicus brief supporting Chico Unified School District (CUSD) in a lawsuit that challenges important protections for LGBTQ+ students. The lawsuit against CUSD, Regino v. Staley, falsely alleged that a counselor pressured a student to use male pronouns after the student told the counselor they “felt like a boy.” The parent who filed the lawsuit claims that parents have a constitutional right to have the school district forcibly out their student to them even when the student objects to that disclosure and feels that disclosure would impact the student’s safety. A federal judge dismissed the lawsuit in July. The parent appealed the dismissal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This lawsuit is another example of extremist attempts to erode the rights of students in public school settings, particularly students’ rights to privacy, equal protection, and non-discriminatory learning environments.

The amicus brief was filed by the California Teachers Association (CTA), the California Federation of Teachers (CFT), the California Association of School Counselors (CASC), the California Association of School Psychologists (CASP), the California School Nurses Organization (CSNO), and the California Association of School Social Workers (CASSW). The brief underscores the negative impacts of these forced outing policies on students as well as school employees, including teachers, counselors, psychologists, nurses, and social workers. The brief also belies the false narrative that schools promote a “parental secrecy policy,” when in fact professional best practices advocate for full inclusion of parents when it is safe for the student. Illegal forced outing policies, passed by a handful of districts last year, are currently being challenged in the courts for violating the rights of students and school district employees. The amicus brief can be viewed here.

“Trans and nonbinary youth and their families deserve to decide on their own terms when and how to have these conversations, both at home and at school. Young people thrive when they have parental support and feel safe sharing their full identities with them; but it can be harmful to force young people to share their full identities before they are ready. LGBTQ+ youth who receive support and acceptance at home, school, in the doctor’s office, and in local policy debates are less likely to suffer from poor mental health, including suicide attempts, suicidal ideation, anxiety and depression. Trans youth who report having at least one accepting adult were 40% less likely to report a suicide attempt in the past year. Our union will always stand up to protect the rights and safety of our students.”

– CTA President David Goldberg

Amicus briefs are legal briefs filed in courts by persons who are not parties in the case, but who have a strong interest in the case’s legal issues and its outcome.


The 310,000-member California Teachers Association is affiliated with the 3 million-member National Education Association.