On Jan. 1, the California State Legislature implemented a new law that allows transgender students from kindergarten to 12th-grade in public schools to use the bathrooms and locker rooms of the gender that they identify with.
In addition, the new law also allows students to take part in gender-specific extracurricular activities
One example of this is students playing on sports teams.
The law would allow students to use the gender that they identify with.
The recent legislative action makes California the first state to spell out the rights of transgender students by law.
Those who support the law strongly believe that the law was not made to create co-ed bathrooms, but to make all children comfortable with who they are so that they can focus on learning.
Supporters of the law believe that it is necessary to spell out the rights of transgender students.
This would keep schools from violating federal anti-discrimination laws.
“If people identify as a certain gender, we have to respect that, especially in schools where you’re learning not only stuff from your textbooks, but also [from] being socially conditioned,” Lande Watson, president of the Gender Equality club said. “If we don’t tell them that they can feel and be whoever they want to be, that will transfer into a lot of bad feelings and encouraged repression later on in life.”
Despite widespread support for the new law, many people oppose it and are calling for a repeal saying it may make other uncomfortable.
“I think that in theory, it’s a good idea, but in practice, it may be uncomfortable in the locker room or bathroom,” a California resident, who prefers to stay anonymous, said.
These opponents believe that the new law will cause other students uneasiness and embarrassment. They also believe that this will lead to issues.
These issues could include awkward encounters in the bathroom, differences in dress codes and discomforting sleeping arrangement for overnight field trips.
If opponents of the law gather enough signatures, they will qualify for a repeal initiative for the November ballot. The law then would be put on hold until the voters make a decision on the law.