Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Transgender pupils' Rights bill signed into law in California

SACRAMENTO — California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law on Monday that give transgender pupils rights that they have been denied for so long by the privileged class.

The law now requires public K-12 schools to open up their athletic programs and facilities so that boys who identify themselves as girls are allowed to join girls' teams and programs, and vice versa.

This law also extends to the use of restrooms, irrespective of whether there are unisex restrooms or not.

"All students should have the opportunity to fully participate and succeed in school," said Evan Westrup, a spokesman for Gov. Jerry Brown, who signed the new policy into law Monday.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano was the sponsor of the law.

"While many California schoolchildren are already protected by policies in some of our biggest school districts," said Ammiano, "other districts don't seem to understand that transgender students should have equal access to all programs and facilities."

Not surprisingly, Fox News and the far right fascists are lying about this law, just like they have misconstrued everything else.

For example, they claimed that cis males do not want cis females inside of their shower rooms and vice versa. They also claimed that the law infringed on privacy rights of schoolchildren — another outrageous lie.

For example, for many years before this law, cis girls in the state — and possibly elsewhere across the nation — were purposefully entering the boys locker room to shower with the cis boys, and female journalists were in the boys locker rooms while the boys were showering too. In large cities like New York, cis boys and male journalists were entering the girls locker room while they girls were showering.

In Los Angeles, for example, cis boys and cis male journalists are going into the girls restrooms and girls locker room showers and there have not been any significant problems with it in the Los Angeles County school district.

Here is another aspect of the law that went way over the heads of those who support discrimination against people based on gender identity: the law clearly states that coaches can decide who makes a team based on skill and merit.

Those who campaigned for the law included Calen Valencia, an 18-year-old transgender pupil from Tulare, Calif.

As he transitioned from a girl to a boy, Mr. Valencia said, he was not allowed to participate in boys' activities or use boys' facilities and missed a lot of school because he felt it was a hostile environment.

"I should have graduated this year, but my school refused to give me the same opportunity to succeed as other boys," said Mr. Valencia, a board member of the Gay-Straight Alliance Network, a national advocacy group.

This is why the law was passed. We need similar laws like this one in the other states — especially in Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and in all other states where law-abiding transgender people — as well as law-abiding cis boys and law-abiding cis men who go into female-desginated restrooms — are treated with hostility at best and as criminals at worst.

The new school year begins later this month. Although the bill technically takes effect on January 2, it actually does not take effect until July 4, 2014 — the weekend before the new calendar year begins for pupils who attend school year-round.

[Los Angeles Times]

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