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OP-ED: Transgender rights for students can help them succeed

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The San Francisco Examiner
|
April 17, 2013

I was pushed around for being skinny when I was a kid. Also for wearing an eye patch, for being the smart kid and for always acting like a performer. And did I mention I was called “Petunia”?

It doesn’t take much to make a child feel like an outsider. Most of us have felt that way at one time or another. What can be hard is helping children feel like they belong — like they are part of something bigger than themselves.

That’s what I always worked for as a teacher.

That is why I introduced Assembly Bill 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act — to ensure that transgender students are not made to feel like outsiders in California’s public schools. We want all students to succeed. We want every student to have great opportunities.

I should mention that the San Francisco Unified School District — the district I was a trustee for — is a model in allowing transgender students to be themselves, and it has been a positive thing for the district’s students.