Target: John A. Perez, California Speaker of the Assembly; Jerry Brown, Governor of California
Goal: Protect transgender students from discrimination in California schools
Assembly members in California will soon vote on a bill that would protect the rights of transgender children in school. Supporters assert it is the formal extension of an existing rule which prevents discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and gender identity. If the new rule is enforced, teachers and students will be required by law to respect a student’s gender identity choices at school, at extracurricular events, and particularly during activities in which students are separated according to gender.
Research shows that trans students are more likely than others to drop out of school before graduating. They are also less likely to perform well in classes and less likely to join sports teams, both of which are healthy activities for school children and teens. Experts believe this is a result of bullying and the consequent discomfort trans students feel in the school environment. They insist that trans kids must have the right to choose their gender identities in schools and the activities that suit them without ridicule from other students and authority figures.
Larger metropolises like Los Angeles and San Francisco already provide these rights to transgender students as a matter of course. However, the mandate is harder to enforce in California’s rural communities or those where the religious right is a prominent force. Opponents claim to defend students who dislike sharing bathrooms and locker rooms with transgender students. Rather than provide education ensuring that all students understand and respect the rights of transgender people, these lobbyists intend to leave students in the dark regarding civil rights, and leave transgender kids to fend for themselves. Ask California leaders to pass a bill protecting the rights of transgender kids in schools.
Dear Mr. Speaker and Mr. Governor,
California leaders will soon vote on AB1266, a bill that would protect transgender children from discrimination in schools. The bill is a formalization of an existing mandate that prohibits descrimination based on race, sex, or gender identity. Supporters believe this bill is necessary to protect trans children, since the current mandate is poorly-enforced in rural communities and those in which the religious right has an overwhelming influence.
Regardless of religious affiliation or gender identity, all children must be protected from discrimination in places of learning and at affiliated extracurricular activities. Trans children and teens are much more likely to drop out of school and sports programs than other children, due to bullying. Freedom of expression is one of the guiding principles on which this country was founded, and California usually leads the pack in anti-discrimination legislation. Pass AB1266 protecting transgender students from discrimination in schools.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Mirokuofnite via Wikimedia