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Despite Pending Lawsuit, California Schools Prepare For Transgender Anti-Discrimination Law Changes

Last August, Calif. Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a controversial bill that would require schools to recognize transgender students’ rights to choose to play on sports teams and use bathroom facilities that correspond to their self-perception and not their biological gender. In essence, anything in school that is sex-segregated would be open to students who otherwise might be restricted from them. For example, a biological male who identifies as a female would be permitted to use female bathroom and locker room facilities and try out for the sports and activities typically limited to female-only participants (and vice versa).

Shortly before the Christmas holiday, Fox News reported that groups opposed to this law filed a lawsuit, claiming that county governments are ignoring their petition to subject the law to a referendum – as California has done in the past with other controversial legislation such as Proposition 8, legalizing gay marriage. The filers say that they collected and submitted 620,000 signatures in order to put the referendum on the November 2014 ballot, 115,000 more than is typically required. However the governments say that they are either still “reviewing” signatures or, as is the case with the signatures dropped off in Mono County, they were not delivered in time.
So while challenges are likely to continue, the law goes into effect New Year’s Day, and, according to NPR, school officials across the state are left unsure of how to proceed. Perhaps though, the real problem with anti-discrimination legislation and policies is not that these kids are transgender, but that they’re kids. According to KTVU, the West Contra Costa Unified School Board is considering altering their anti-discrimination policy after (what else) a video of a school fight found its way to the internet.  >>MORE FROM OV<<

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Colin Young-Wolff for L.A. Weekly
Ashton Lee, a 16-year-old transgender boy from Manteca, says he was forced to take aerobics class at school with girls.
All I want to do is go to school and have the same opportunity to succeed as everyone else. ... I just want to be treated the same as all the other boys, but my school forces me to take P.E. in a class of all girls and live as someone I'm not. Every day in that class leaves me feeling isolated and alone, making it extremely difficult to learn.

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