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A recently passed bill which gives students greater control over their gender identities within a school setting is set to change the way many California public schools operate, and a TVUSD official weighed in on how the district plans to operate in accordance with what the new law dictates.
Assembly Bill 1266 requires schools to permit students to participate in activities that might normally be sex-segregated. Additionally, the newly-passed bill allows students to use facilities that correspond with the gender they identify with rather than their listed gender on school records. The bill went into effect on Jan., 1, 2014.
The bill is specifically geared toward transgender students who wish to participate in sports that align with their gender identity, as well as use the restroom and locker rooms that correspond with that gender.
Supporters of the law view it as a step forward for LGBTQIA rights, while those against it believe it is an invasion of student privacy.
The Temecula Valley School District does not have one policy across the board for the new bill. Instead they are addressing specifics of the bill on a case by case basis, keeping both the law and the “care and well-being” of the students in mind, according to Great Oak High School Principal Keith Moore.
“The district doesn’t have any set policy other than what the bill says.” Moore said. “We know that’s the law, then the district, or site, would proceed as that situation arises.”
Moore said that there has not been ongoing concern regarding the bill since it was put in place, despite the concerns that arose around the time the bill was being voted on.
The Great Oak High School principal advised those who do have concerns regarding TVUSD’s handling of the new law to contact Michael Hubbard, Director of Child Welfare and Attendance for the district.
“He would be the person that a school site would consult with,” Moore said. “if there was a certain situation on a site, they would contact him and navigate with him whatever that dynamic was.”
Moore declined to comment on whether or not the school would make any facility changes such as the implementation of school bathrooms, saying such a conversation has not occurred among district officials.
Though there are many transgender students in California that this bill affects, it has not caused a drastic change in the way TVUSD handles these situations. Students who face any problems regarding the new law will be dealt with on a case-by-case basis, according to Moore.