Today Ashton, a 16-year-old transgender boy from Manteca, California delivered a petition with over 5,000 signatures in support of AB 1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, to the Governor. We’re incredibly proud of him. He is a brave, resilient young man who has the support of his mom, family, and friends.
It warms my heart to see so many caring people stand up for transgender youth by supporting AB 1266. Parents, teachers, counselors, and youth have joined together with a common cause — they believe that all students should be given a fair shot at success. Discrimination against one young person is discrimination against all young people. That’s why we see such a diverse coalition of folks asking the Governor to sign this important bill.
Teachers, parents, and counselors know what youth need to successfully graduate from school on time. The California Teachers Association (CTA), California Federation of Teachers (CFT), California Parent Teacher Association (CA PTA), and California Association of School Counselors (CASC) have all pledged their support for AB 1266. Additionally, several civil rights organizations are showing support for the bill including Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
AB 1266 was authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and co-authored by Senator Mark Leno, Senator Ricardo Lara, and Assemblymember Toni Atkins. The bill will ensure that California public schools understand their responsibility for the success and well-being of all students and will allow transgender students to fully participate in all school activities, programs, and facilities. The bill is co-sponsored by Transgender Law Center, GSA Network, Gender Spectrum, and National Center for Lesbian Rights.
Our families and communities thrive when schools give all students a fair chance to succeed. Understanding this, Los Angeles Unified School District, the largest district in the country (serving 670,000 students), successfully implemented a related policy almost a decade ago ensuring no student is denied the opportunity to participate in their education. If it can work for LAUSD, it can work for all school districts throughout California.
The voices of transgender students and their supporters have inspired the Assembly and Senate to overwhelmingly pass AB 1266. Now, we need Governor Jerry Brown to sign the bill into law. Its passage would be a monumental victory for California youth as well as the parents, teachers, and counselors who care so deeply about making sure all students can succeed in school.
Transgender Law Center