The Continued Fight for Transgender Rights
Assembly Bill 1266, which was signed into law last year and went into effect on Jan. 1, is a law that guarantees that only transgender students from K-12 are allowed to use public restrooms, join team sports and use locker rooms with the gender they identify with. Being transgender is a term used to describe people whose gender identity does not match with the sex to which they were assigned with at birth. The law’s purpose is to enrich the diversity of the schools and eventually, the students. Assembly Bill 1266 attempts to create a sense of support and safety for transgender students to ensure their safety at school.
“I support the law. They should create boys’, girls’ and unisex bathrooms just like we have family restrooms in public places,” track and field Coach Sandra Rodriguez said.
According to the Transgender Law Center, many transgender students have been discriminated against and excluded from sports teams and other school activities, contrary to the California law that prohibits discrimination in education. Having these students be discriminated not only affects the transgender students’ self-esteem, but also their school records. Some transgender students were not allowed to participate in physical education, which limited them from achieving credits.
“The only way the world can progress without hate and intolerance is change. Slowly and surely people will learn to accept transgender people,” sophomore Angelica Torres said.
However, not all agree with Assembly Bill 1266. According to The Advocate, the new transgender law immediately spurred anti-LGBT groups, who began to call for signatures to repeal the law by 2014’s November ballot. Last November, they garnered 81.5 percent of the voters needed to repeal the law, according to Los Angeles Times. The repeal must have at least 504,760 valid signatures in order to reach the ballot in November.
“If [people who are transgender] feel the way they feel and they want to be expressed that way then they should have every right to use the facilities and fit into society. It gives them a sense of acceptance,” sophomore Jackie Lam said.
According to Huffington Post, the Los Angeles Unified School District had a similar approach for almost a decade. Their policy helped transgender students feel more comfortable in their surroundings rather than feel isolated at school. Without the protection of Assembly Bill 1266, many students who have decided to change their identity will have a lack of support and will continue to go on without essential support.