California is the first state to actual create and approve a statute that gives transgender students (K-12) the right to select which restroom or locker room they are comfortable with and the right to use it.
The statute covers more than restroom and locker room access, it also gives the students the right to select which sports they want to play. Allowing them to play in sports that had been sexually segregated. It was announced today that Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill.
The issue has supporters on both sides and has sometimes landed them in local courts. Parents of transgender students have been protesting school districts to give the students the option.
Supporters believe that the approval will assist with reducing the bullying seen among transgender students. The National Center for Lesbian Rights and the ACLU of California were advocates of the bill.
Critics of the bill, including some Republican legislators, believe that allowing students of one gender to access the facilities of the other may infringe upon the privacy of some students.
According to Carlos Alcala, spokesman for the bill’s author, Democratic Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco, the concerns are exaggerated.
“They’re not interested in going into bathrooms and flaunting their physiology,” Alcala said
Alcala further stated that the Los Angeles Unified school district has a similar policy in place and have been using it for almost ten years without any reported incidences. San Francisco also has a policy giving transgender students the right to choose which facilities they use, and many other school districts signed in support of the measure.
Other states have made provisions for transgender students to have this option, but California is the first one that has made it a law.
By: Veverly Edwards