Today, transgender students, their parents and educators in California celebrated a Maine Supreme Court decision ensuring that all young people — including those who are transgender — should have the same opportunities to do well in school and graduate. The court held in a 5-1 ruling that a transgender student who lives her life as a girl can use the girls’ bathroom.
On Jan. 1, California’s new School Success and Opportunity Act — known as Assembly Bill 1266 — went into effect, providing similar guidance for schools across the state to meet the needs of all students, including transgender students. The California Secretary of State earlier this month announced that a referendum attempting to challenge the law failed to qualify for the ballot on the first spot count of the signatures, and a full count is underway.
California’s new law is backed by the Support All Students coalition, which includes the National Center for Lesbian Rights, ACLU of California, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Equality California, Gender Spectrum, Transgender Law Center, statewide teacher and parent organizations, and dozens of other organizations.
Said Transgender Law Center Executive Director Masen Davis: “Today’s ruling shows that courts and legislatures across the country are recognizing that all students should have the chance to participate and succeed in school. It’s a pretty simple concept: this student lived every day as a girl, and the court held that the school needed to treat her like all other girls. The court recognized that transgender students can truly thrive when they are supported not only by their families but their schools and communities as well.”
Added EQCA Executive Director John O’Connor: “Every young person deserves a fair opportunity to do well in school. Today’s decision by the Maine Supreme Court gives important guidance to schools, as does California’s School Success and Opportunity Act. This ruling is good news for transgender youth not just in Maine, but across the country.”
To learn more about California’s new law, please visit www.SupportAllStudents.org.