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Urge Governor Brown: End Transgender Discrimination In Schools!

Urge Governor Brown: End Transgender Discrimination In Schools!

California stands poised to be the first state in the nation to enact a law protecting transgender students. Here’s all you need to know and how you can ensure this important bill is signed into law.

According to the Transgender Legal Defense And Education Fund, 17 states, including Massachusetts, have policies granting some sort of legal protections for transgender people, but none of these policies are statute.

Several school districts around the country, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, have also implemented similar policies, but this would mark the first time a state has legally mandated such protections.

The bill in question is AB 1266, a K-12 transgender rights bill authored by Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco and approved by the California Senate on July 3 by a vote of 21 – 9. It was approved by the Assembly in early May.

The proposal now awaits the signature of Governor Jerry Brown, whose office has so far declined to comment on whether he will sign it.

The state already has a law prohibiting schools from discriminating against students based on their gender identity, but this legislation spells that out in more detail.

AB 1266 alters the state’s education code so that a student is “permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs, and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”

Yes, we are talking about restrooms and sports teams. The bill acknowledges that transgender boys are boys, and transgender girls are girls. And if a school tries to prevent students from using facilities appropriate for their gender identity, it will be a violation of state law.

These are important specific objectives of this legislation, but it goes much further.

As Dina Martinez, Executive Director of Trans-Action, a group devoted to empowering transgender youth, explains:

“This bill is so important to galvanizing the dignity and protection of students.  The mere fact that most schools across our country are able to bar someone from using the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity is absolutely unacceptable.  This law will help diminish the “otherness” that most children feel and will provide trans and gender variant students with better opportunities to pursue their dreams in the future which is what all educators should be dedicated to facilitating.”

Democratic Senator Mark Leno, also from San Francisco, was emphatic:

“There should be certainty that every kid has the chance to go to school and be treated equally and fairly. We know that these particular students suffer much abuse and bullying and denigration. We can’t change that overnight, but what we can do is make sure that the rules are such that they get a fair shake.”

It was just last month that the Colorado Civil Rights Division (CCRD) agreed with the parents of a first grader that she should be allowed to use the bathroom of the gender she identifies with.

Six-year-old Coy Mathis was born a boy, but has identified as a girl since she was 18 months old.

That wasn’t good enough for Eagleside Elementary School in Fountain, Colorado. Last December the school insisted that Coy had to use the boys’ restroom, even though she had been using the girls’ bathroom until then.

The Colorado court disagreed, ruling in favor of Coy and her parents in a first of its kind legal affirmation of trans rights.

Ashton Lee, a 16-year-old transgender boy from of Manteca, California, (seen above) testified before the Senate Education Committee last month. Lee wants to play high school football.

“I just want to be treated the same as all the other boys, but my school forces me to take P.E. in a class of all girls and live as someone I’m not,” Lee said in a statement. “I can’t learn and succeed when every day in that class leaves me feeling isolated and alone.”

As a public high school teacher in California, I welcome directives to make it illegal to discriminate against transgender students.

Schools and teachers are responsible both for the academic success and also the social/emotional well-being of all our students, and this bill will ensure that all transgender students are given the opportunity to reach their full potential.

If you agree that transgender students should be treated with respect and dignity, please sign our petition asking Governor Brown to provide transgender youth with the same protections that all other students receive.

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Photo Credit: NBC Los Angeles online video

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74 comments

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10:42AM PDT on Jul 18, 2013

living in California this doesn't surprise me...hopefully the word will spread to other states. Good job Cali

10:52AM PDT on Jul 15, 2013

Petition gladly signed!!

5:10AM PDT on Jul 15, 2013

signed

3:33AM PDT on Jul 15, 2013

Gladly signed! Thanks

10:34PM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

Vesna and Theodora K, such bunkum you spew! People smarter than you have identified gender identification disorders. Who are you to say that a person is not at odds with their physical gender? Being LGBT is not a learned behaviour or a lifestyle, it is the way some people were created. Thank the Creator for wondrous variety.

Petition gladly signed.

3:46PM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

ty

11:51AM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

-continue- didn't have a right to enforce freewill on society. No one cares about the feelings of those who don't believe in transgender choice. I mean should there be a third restroom in every public and private place for those that believed in keeping both organs as a hermaphrodite? Or does your prejudices make them CHOOSE to change how they were born or live with the discrimination you claim is rampant? Bottomline Convince me and I'll sign

11:47AM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

Well said Vensa, unfortunately transgender laws will be the death of Sports and entertainment as we see it today, whether it be in the form of lawsuits against the NFL NBA MLB Nascar Golf Boxing MMA etc for not allowing transgender integration. A transgender man whos now a woman MTF wanted to and actually did fight a woman, SO A MAN FOUGHT A WOMAN ON LIVE TV and it happened to be MMA, is what our society is coming to due to transgender laws and people believing that you can change your gender through surgery. For you signers, you believe in this either because you know a transgender person or because you are transgender and that's ok, but answer me this, "If a man legally changes into a woman does he become a different person or the same person, does he go to women prison or male prison, if he fights a woman is it a woman fighting a woman? Are women's hip bones and pelvic largely different from men's? Can men who become women bear children?, can women who become men produce sperm? If not then how about we change the name of what we call human being in general. If a person believes he was reborn as Elvis does the COURT allow him to be recognized as Elvis or is he considered a "NUTCASE" and told to go perform in Vegas even if his actions aren't disabling or distressing? Seems there's a double standard that hasn't been addressed yet the spin has been to use children to further encourage the acceptance of this behavior, in the end transgender is a choice and last I checked we did

11:23AM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

Thank you! (I gladly signed, posted, and tweeted the petition!)

11:20AM PDT on Jul 14, 2013

To Teodora G: I disagree. If I didn't say anything how come you're responding? You're not very articulate yourself. What is your understanding of psychosis? Once you tell me I can respond and clarify. Also tell me these other symptoms you're alluding to and tell me your references in psychology and how you support your view they apply in the case of transgenders.
B Mutiny: Thanks for the star!

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