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‘Privacy For All Students’ gathering signatures to repeal trans student bill

Commentary: Trans Progressive

Karen England

The Capitol Resource Institute’s (CRI’s) Karen England apparently is leading a coalition calling itself Privacy For All Students that’s spearheading a referendum to repeal AB 1266 (School Success and Opportunity Act). Gov. Brown signed this bill into law Aug. 12, and it will become law Jan. 1, 2014 unless enough signatures are gathered to put a referendum on this bill before California voters. If there are enough signatures to qualify the referendum for ballot, the vote on it would occur in November 2014.

In addition to the CRI, the coalition’s members include the Pacific Justice Institute, Faith and Public Policy, Calvary Chapel of Chino Hills and ActRight – ActRight being a national clearinghouse for conservative activists headed by Brian Brown (the executive director of the National Organization for Marriage, or NOM).

The California School Boards Association (CSBA) describes the School Success and Opportunity Act as requiring “districts to permit transgender students to participate in gender-segregated school programs and activities – including athletic teams, sports competitions and field trips – consistent with their gender identity and to use facilities consistent with their gender identity.”

The act itself is a clarification of current California law. According to the CSBA, California Education Code § 220 prohibits discrimination of students based on gender, gender identity and gender expression; § 221.5 prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender in enrollment, counseling and the availability of physical education, athletic activities and sports; and § 2341 states the school districts must adopt policies prohibiting discrimination, harassment and bullying based on gender, gender identity and gender expression, as well as intervene whenever they witness such harassment and bullying.

AB 1266 clarified the requirements already found in California’s Education Code. If repealed, no legal requirements would change; only clarity would be lost.

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) implemented a policy that conforms to the requirements of AB 1266 in 2004.

“At first we had our concerns,” stated Judy Chiasson of LAUSD at a June 12 Senate Education Committee hearing on the bill. “Would letting students participate in activities and facilities that were consistent with their gender identities create problems? What would happen? And, ultimately we decided that we as the adults needed to manage our fears and give the students the respect and dignity that they deserved. And I’m pleased to say none of our fears have been materialized. Our transgender students use facilities, participate in gym class and play on sports teams in a way that corresponds with their gender identities.”

She later added “In the eight years that we’ve had our policy we’ve not had any problems. On the contrary, it’s solved many problems.”

Karen England believes AB 1266 is a bad bill. “No student should be forced to share bathrooms or change clothes in front of members of the opposite sex,” England stated this past May in a press release. “AB 1266 mandates San Francisco values on all California schools.”

The possible referendum is another misleading campaign by hateful groups, such as CRI and NOM, to hurt marginalized members of our LGBT community. And, this time the targets are young students. The Privacy For All Students coalition’s efforts are an exercise of solving a problem that doesn’t exist.

England runs two nonprofit organizations: these are the Capitol Resource Institute and Capitol Resource Family Impact. The first is a non-taxable non-profit – {a 501(c)(3)}, and the second is a political action committee – {a 501(c)(4)]. For failure to submit required disclosure documents for three consecutive years, both had their federal non-profit statuses revoked as of February of this year by the IRS. And, both the CRI and CRFI are listed as delinquent with their California state charity organization registrations.

CRI has documented disclosure issues. And NOM, currently led by Brian Brown, between 2009 and this year sought to shield the names of donors to its campaign against the marriage equality referendum in Maine. Their last appeal was exhausted in May of this year. I would expect there to be financial and donor disclosure issues with Privacy For All Students should they gather enough signatures to force a referendum on AB 1266.

If there is a referendum for AB 1266, it looks like it’ll be an ugly campaign by ugly campaigners. What will make this campaign particularly ugly will be the ginning up of unwarranted fears and lies told about trans youth.

Short URL: http://lgbtweekly.com/?p=41344

Posted by on Oct 3, 2013. Filed under Bottom Highlights, Trans Progressive. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

7 Comments for “‘Privacy For All Students’ gathering signatures to repeal trans student bill”

  1. If people really want to prevent this law from being overturned, then the smart thing to do would be to ask that it be changed to provide reasonable restrictions. That, of course, will not happen, but it will be a heroic defeat.

    • “AB 1266 clarified the requirements already found in California’s Education Code. If repealed, no legal requirements would change; only clarity would be lost.”

      As I mentioned already, California Education Code § 220, § 221.5, and § 2341 already make the requirements of AB1266 law. AB1266 makes the requirements for trans students clear, and having clarity as to how to follow existing law. Without the clarity, what we’re going to see is lawsuits that take money out of the classroom.

      Even on the federal level, the Arcadia Unified School District just this past July settled with the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and notably the agreement mirrored the requirements of AB1266.

      Trans youth deserve to be treated according to their gender identities without going to court, school district by school district, to achieve the ordinary equality the law already requires but school districts, because of the lack of understanding of current legal requirements, aren’t all currently complying with.

      • They do not have a right to receive special treatment at the expense of the majority of students. Male-bodied students do no have a right to be nude in the presence of female students, no matter what their “gender identity” is. Now, if ALL schools provide sufficient privacy in their shower facilities that inevitable nudity is not a problem (and this sort of thing is made public), or if AB 1266 is modified to prevent such problems that would remove one of the factors that is going to lead to the bill being overturned. Another provision is the one that would allow male students, who have not undergone even hormone treatment to have an unfair advantage if they compete in female sports. Imagine an untreated male student competing in girls track and field, basketball, or such. It would be no different from allowing a born-female student unrestricted use of steroids.

        This bill is poorly thought out, and presents a number of troubling issues in the name of blind political correctness.

  2. As a teacher, a mother and a grandmother, I am totally against AB 1266. I pray that this bill will be repealed.

  3. everyone has a right of privacy.

  4. wj I believe everyone has a right but from the beginning of time boys and girls and,men and women have had separate bathrooms and it should stay that way u will start to see more parents taken their kids out of school which schools will loss money give them their bathroom are make one or two on campus for them only I’m totally against it and I still have grandchildren in school and I also pray this bill be repealed

  5. fight for truth and righteous. god is with truth and righteous…fight the good fight! Fight for our children never give in.. were with ya in Tennessee.

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