Caifornia Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a very controversial bill which will allow transgender students the ability to choose what bathroom they use, as well as whether they play girls or boys sports. This bill will apply to all of California’s elementary and high school students in public schools.
Not everyone is happy with the bill. Critics have brought up concerns regarding whether or not it is OK to allow a student to use different bathrooms, mainly because of how it will affect the other kids around them. They argue that transgender students picking their bathrooms is the same as a boy in the girls bathroom, however, many people do not agree with that idea.
National and State organizations all came together to back this bill which they feel will greatly help transgender students feel at ease in school. Some republican lawmakers did attack the bill suggesting that it would infringe on other student rights but in the end, their opinions were not accepted.
Carlos Alcala, spokesman for the bill’s author took on those complains, stating:
They’re not interested in going into bathrooms and flaunting their physiology…Clearly, there are some parents who are not going to like it. We are hopeful school districts will work with them so no students are put in an uncomfortable position.
Of course there will be students that feel slightly uncomfortable–whether they should or not–but that should not detract from a transgender student’s ability to be happy. Schools will definitely have to put together specific plans for implementing the new bill.
There are already some states that are taking many of the same steps to protect the rights of transgender students. Massachusetts and Connecticut have statewide laws providing the same rights to students. However, California is the first state to require all public schools to adopt the policy.