October 31st, 2023 2 Minute Read Public Filings by Ilya Shapiro, Leor Sapir, John Ketcham

Amicus Brief: Regino v. Staley

An emerging issue in public education is school officials’ secret social transitioning of minor children in alternate gender identities and deliberately withholding that information from parents. In this case, the Chico, California Unified School District adopted a policy in which the school will not inform a child’s parents about a social transition unless the child explicitly authorizes disclosure. The school district argues that the secrecy policy is required by California law. 

Beginning in January 2022, the district enforced this policy against Chico parent Aurora Regino, socially transitioning her 11-year-old daughter for several months without Aurora’s knowledge or consent. Ms. Regino sued, alleging violations of (1) a parent’s fundamental right to direct the upbringing of her children, (2) procedural due process, and (3) family integrity under the First Amendment. The district court denied her motion for a preliminary injunction but granted school officials’ motion to dismiss all causes of action. Ms. Regino has now appealed to the Ninth Circuit. The Manhattan Institute has filed an amicus brief, updating two we previously filed in similar cases, supporting her appeal and presenting medical research showing that social transition is not a neutral act but an active intervention. Its use on children and adolescents in schools falls squarely within parents’ fundamental right to guide their children’s healthcare.

Ilya Shapiro is a senior fellow and director of Constitutional Studies at the Manhattan Institute. Follow him on Twitter here.

Leor Sapir is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute.

John Ketcham is a fellow and director of state and local policy at the Manhattan Institute.

Photo: DGLimages/iStock


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