Policy in Place for Public School Transgender Bathrooms

Dec 11, 2013 3:50 PM

UPDATE: The Chico Unified School Board has postponed the first reading of Assembly Bill 1266, because the district has been informed that there is an interim policy in place to deal with transgender bathrooms.

Here is the policy:

•A fundamental role of a school board is governance, which includes the responsibility to set the direction of the district as it relates to creating a welcoming and non-discriminatory environment for all students.
•Existing Board policies already address nondiscrimination in district programs and activities, harassment, athletic competition and extracurricular/co-curricular activities
•When a request is received from a transgender student or a non-transgender student that concerns privacy issues, facility use, or participation in athletic competitions, it should be considered regardless of the form or manner in which it is presented. Districts are advised to handle each request on a case-by-case basis so that the unique needs of each student can be met. When a request is made, districts should first attempt to meet with the student and, if appropriate, the student’s family. This will enable the student and the district to raise, discuss, and address the issue of privacy as well as other student needs.

At Wednesday night's Chico Unified School Board meeting, board members will hear the first reading of Assembly Bill 1266, allowing transgender K-12th grade students access to whichever restroom and locker room they want.

Supporters said it will help reduce bullying and discrimination against transgender students.

Assistant Superintendent, Human Resources Bob Feaster says there are students in the Chico Unified School District who are transgender and gender variant. He says the district will hold its first reading Wednesday, and then put a policy into place at the following meeting, on December 18. Says Feaster, "What seems to scare people is that they could change their identity overnight. That's not the way it works. We will have to see history and evidence that they're transgender. They can't be a boy one day, and a girl the next."

Pleasant Valley High School student Ian Wright says he's concerned for the safety of the female classmates who use the boys' restrooms. He says, "I don't think they would respect her rights going in as a woman. I don't think she'd be safe in there."

The law goes in to effect January 1st.


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