A Superior Court Judge issued a tentative ruling on May 23 that a Fontana Unified School District Policy which prohibits all registrants from visiting schools in that district is preempted by state law and therefore must be stopped. The judge’s final ruling in this case is expected within 30 days. “This is a tremendous victory for registrant parents whose children attend schools in the Fontana school district,” stated ACSOL Executive Director Janice Bellucci. “It also sends a clear message to other school districts that have or are considering similar policies.”
The judge’s decision was based, in part, upon existing state law that creates a right for the public to enter public facilities, including schools, as well as existing state law that creates a right for parents to both participate and observe activities on school campuses. Neither of the existing state laws includes exceptions for registrants, however, there are additional existing state laws which authorize schools to remove if they disrupt school activities. Finally, there is a state law which requires registrants to obtain written permission before visiting a school.
As part of his decision, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge David Cohn ruled against the school district’s argument that ACSOL lacked standing to challenge its policy. The judge declared that ACSOL has standing in the case as a matter of public interest. He noted that although there is no evidence in the record regarding the number of registrant parents in the school district, it is likely that there are or will be registrant parents in that district.
According to the California Megan’s Law website, there are at least 247 registrants living in the City of Fontana and more than 3,500 registrants living in San Bernardino County. The Fontana Unified School District includes all of the City of Fontana and some of San Bernardino County.