Transgender public school students will now have the right to participate in sex-segregated sports and use facilities consistent with the gender they identify themselves as per Assembly Bill 1266, signed by Gov. Jerry Brown Monday.
The bill will go into affect January 1, 2014, and “prohibits public schools from discriminating on the basis of specified characteristics, including gender, gender identity, and gender expression,” and “in a particular physical education activity or sport, if required of pupils of one sex, be available to pupils of each sex.”
To break it down, the new law states gives transgender students the right to pick “athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”
When Patch broke this story, comments came flooding in, some in support, and many with concerns of the potential for foul play, wondering what the protocol will be to allow boys in with their daughters, and vice versa in locker rooms and restrooms.
For some clarification, Patch caught up with Carlos Alcala, a spokesman for the bill's author, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, who stressed that this policy will cure problems, not create them.
“Gender identity is deep-seeded," he said. "This is not something people go back and forth on. It is a long transition process, and different students will be at different stages.”
Alcala explained that how each school or district will handle protocols will be up to them, stating, “there is a certain amount of local control–they are obligated to recognize the students' identity.”
Another issue that Alcala says will be the individual school or district’s responsibility is behavior management.
“I think that one concern has been that people will pretend," he said. "I don’t think that’s going to happen–or it will be very rare–and if it happens it will most likely be known school pranksters. The school districts will need to respond properly with disciplinary actions."
Share your thoughts. Does this perspective ease any concerns you had with the bill?