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Bill would protect transgender students' right to school sports

Saying he is working to ensure that transgender students in California feel fully included in schools, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, last week introduced legislation to give transgender students the right to participate in school sports and use bathroom facilities that correspond with their expressed genders, the Associated Press reported.

If Assembly Bill 1266 becomes law, transgender students would have the right “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities,” regardless of how their gender is listed on their school records. Transgender refers to those who identify with a gender that differs from their sex.

California law prohibits discrimination against transgender students and, according to a statement from the Transgender Law Center in San Francisco, AB 1266 would make it clear to school districts that the state non-discrimination law “requires public schools to respect a transgender student’s identity in all school programs, activities, and facilities.”

This would include allowing transgender children to play on sports teams and use bathrooms that align with their gender expression.

The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education issued a policy last month granting the same protections, but Ammiano’s bill is believed to be the first to explicitly spell them out as a matter of state law, Transgender Law Center executive director Masen Davis said, the AP reported.


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