AB 1266, passed recently by both houses of the California legislature is now on Governor Brown’s desk, a few pen strokes away from making significant changes in public education policy.
If signed into law by the governor, AB 1266 will require public schools to allow a child of any age “to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.”
What the bill means is that if a second grade girl (who is biologically a female) decides she wants to be a boy, she can use the boys’ bathroom if she chooses. She can insist on being called “he” instead of “she”. If a twelve year old boy (who is biologically a male) self-identifies as a girl, he—or “she”—must be allowed to play on the girls’ softball team and share the locker room with the girls.
Explain that to your eight or ten year old, or your six year old.
Undoubtedly boys and girls who struggle with their sexual identity face many challenges. Undoubtedly the bill was proposed with the best intentions of protecting the sensitivities of transgendered children, to make them feel included and equal. But what does this legislation do to the rest of the children—such as prepubescent girls who are shocked at the idea of sharing their locker room and bathroom with someone with “boy parts” or first graders who are just discerning the differences between boys and girls.
One is left to wonder how extensive are the incidents of transgendered children in public schools, and whether such a comprehensive statewide law is necessary. Would it not make more sense to allow local school districts to make local decisions on a case by case basis?
In catering to the very small minority of transgendered children, will this legislation create potentially harmful confusion in the minds of youngsters, confusion that may result in lifelong consequences? Will implementing the law lead to conflict and lack of order in public schools? Does it foster a harmonious learning environment for all public school children?
Maybe this isn’t really about making transgendered kids more comfortable. It’s reasonable to assume that in the long run playing on the girls’ basketball team and using the girls’ bathroom isn’t going to make a transgendered boy’s life all that much easier. Maybe this is part of a broader strategy to do away with any distinctions based on gender and make obsolete the concept of “male and female he created them.” (Catechism 355)
If you agree that AB 1266 is not in the best interests of the majority of California’s public school students and their parents, you can send your message to Governor Brown asking him to NOT sign the bill into law by clicking this action alert.
Other posts by Judy Barrett