A California Senate committee on Wednesday approved a bill that would require public schools to respect a transgender student’s gender identity in all school programs, activities, and facilities. The School Success and Opportunity Act (AB 1266) was approved by the Senate Education Committee by a vote of 5-2. The bill will provide guidance to district and school leaders about how to meet their obligations to protect the safety and well being of all students, including those that are transgender. “Transgender students should not have to overcome additional barriers as they pursue their education. Like any other students, they shouldn’t be singled out and excluded,” said Joel Baum, a former middle school science teacher, principal and district administrator.