Supporting All Transgender Students
This summer Californians celebrated a historic victory when Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law AB 1266 – the School Success and Opportunity Act. The law makes sure that all students, including transgender students, have the opportunity to graduate from California’s public schools, by ensuring they can be themselves and fully participate in school facilities and activities such as sports and physical education that match their gender identity.
Unfortunately, anti-equality groups, who are frustrated at their unsuccessful efforts to stop marriage equality, have now taken to targeting transgender children and their families.
In an effort to overturn the law, they have filed a referendum. Fortunately, the referendum would have absolutely no impact whatsoever, as existing California law and existing federal law already provide that transgender students must be allowed to participate in all school programs and facilities consistent with their gender identity. It is a waste of taxpayer time and money.
Parents and families know that every student should have a fair chance to fully participate and succeed in school so that they can graduate with their classmates. Anti-equality groups, who have lost again and again on issues like gay marriage, have turned to targeting kids as a last ditch effort but public opinion is squarely on the side of LGBT people – young people included. Who benefits from ostracizing young people who are already struggling to fit in anyway?
We’re optimistic that both the law and the value of fairness will prevail. This bill ensures schools understand their responsibility for the success and well-being of all students, including transgender students. No parent wants to see their child excluded or discriminated against.
Learn more: SupportAllStudents.org
Melissa Goodman is a staff attorney with the ACLU of California.