Today, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that ensures the state's public schools will take responsibility for the well-being of all students, including the transgender student population. This signing comes after transgender high school student Ashton Lee of Manteca, California, delivered nearly 6,000 petition signatures to Gov. Brown's Sacramento office, in support of the proposed legislation in late July. The bill, called the School Success and Opportunity Act, or AB 1266, was introduced by assembly member Tom Ammiano and coauthored by Senator Mark Leno and Senator Ricardo Lara.
Despite the false claims of anti-LGBT activists, AB 1266 is about supporting transgender students in an environment where they are routinely subjected to discrimination and harassment. GLAAD recently noted that the Arcadia Unified School District in California was dealing with a case in which a transgender student was discriminated against. This law will allow transgender students to access school accommodations that affirm their gender identity, and participate in the same sports teams and other school activities as their peers do. As its name suggests, the bill supports transgender students' success by providing a set of essential protections in California state law.
"Well done California for passing a law that protects transgender students from discrimination in their own schools and affirms their identities," said Wilson Cruz, GLAAD's National Spokesperson. "This is another step to ensuring that transgender students have the same opportunities at learning and school involvement as all other students."
GLAAD urges the media to report on this important victory for California's transgender students, and to highlight the need for similar protections nationwide.