Help California Action Alert for Transgender Youth
Posted by Melanie Nathan, July 08, 2013.
On July 3, 2013, The California State Senate passed the School Success and Opportunity Act (Assembly Bill 1266), sending the bill that ensures transgender students have the opportunity to succeed in school to Governor Jerry Brown for his signature. Authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, the bill passed the Senate with a 21-9 vote (unofficial). The bill passed the California State Assembly last month with 46-25 vote. Now we need your help in asking Gov. Brown to sign the Bill into law. Please help..
AB 1266 will ensure that California public schools understand their responsibility for the success and well-being of all students, including transgender students, and will allow transgender students to fully participate in all school activities, sports teams, programs, and facilities in accordance with their gender identity.
Co-authored by Senators Mark Leno and Ricardo Lara and Assemblymember Toni Atkins, the bill is backed by a coalition of leading organizations, including Transgender Law Center, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Gender Spectrum, Equality California, ACLU of California, National Center for Lesbian Rights, statewide teacher and parent organizations, and dozens of other organizations.
NOW we need your help. This from Kate Kendell, Esq., Executive Director of NCLR: – Please join NCLR and other bill co-sponsors—Equality California, Transgender Law Center, GSA Network, and Gender Spectrum—in demanding that transgender young people in our community have a chance to succeed:-
“When Logan tried to take P.E. during his freshman year, he was sent to the nurse’s office to change because he is transgender. This isolated him from other students, exposing him to constant stigma and harassment, and made him feel terrible about himself. It also made him 15 minutes late to classes each day. Eventually, he just gave up on gym altogether.
Across California, transgender students like Logan—an 18-year-old from Santa Monica—are prevented from fully participating in school activities, programs, and facilities simply because of who they are.
But you can help.
The School Success and Opportunity Act—Assembly Bill 1266—is on its way to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk for consideration after the Senate approved it last week (the Assembly approved it in June). We need your help to make sure he signs this crucial civil rights bill, which would strengthen California’s existing non-discrimination laws and ensure that transgender students have the opportunity to succeed in school.
Opponents of LGBT equality are spreading messages of fear, making these young people the scapegoat for their outdated prejudices, and ignoring the success of similar school policies throughout the state and the nation. Similar policies have already been implemented at hundreds of California schools, and it is time to make sure that all schools treat transgender students fairly. No one should ever be treated differently because of who they are, and you can help make a difference.
Governor Brown needs to hear from you, and hear that you want him to sign this bill into law. Please tweet @JerryBrownGov directly at www.TinyUrl.com/TweetCAGov asking him to sign #AB1266, call his office at 916.445.2841 or send him a “pro” email using the sample email below.
Together, we can truly make a difference for many young lives.” (Kate Kendell, Esq.)
Dear Governor Brown,
I am writing to urge you to once again stand up for LGBT equality by signing the School Success and Opportunity Act, a civil rights bill authored by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, into law. California law prohibits discrimination against students based on their gender identity. Unfortunately, many school districts still discriminate against transgender students from school programs and facilities.
Assembly Bill 1266 will ensure that school administrators, teachers, parents and students understand that schools must treat transgender students just like any other students. Transgender youth deserve a safe, non-discriminatory school environment that encourages them to learn and participate fully, just like everyone else.
Policies consistent with civil rights legislation have been successfully implemented in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and other districts throughout California and the nation. While the opposition seeks to keep the discussion in a place of fear and ignorance, the real experience shows those fears to be baseless. In fact, ending the exclusion of transgender students from activities, programs and facilities has led to increased acceptance and success for all students. Please sign the School Success and Opportunity Act, and help make California schools a foundation from which all students can succeed.
Thank you for your leadership in advancing equality.