SAN DIEGO -- As K-12 students returned to school on Monday following the holiday break, San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) board president Kevin Beiser wanted to make sure that the community knew that AB 1266 - the School Success and Opportunity Act - was a good thing for the school district and all schools across the state.
The new law went into effect Jan. 1.
The law, passed last year, reinforces existing protections for students under California's non-discrimination law, ensuring that transgender students have access to facilities and activities with respect to their gender identity.
Some opponents of AB1266 have submitted signatures calling for a referendum vote on the new law and continue to spread lies about the law, saying things like it will allow any student to use any restroom at a school at any time.
Beiser, along with fellow board member Richard Barrera, called a news conference Monday afternoon and spoke to a small group of media and community members about the law, saying that SDUSD has a long history of being supportive of all students.
"AB 1266 reflects practices that have been in place in the district for many years," Beiser said. "Since September, a multi-disciplinary team has been working on the formal implementation of the new law, revising current policies for Board of Education consideration in coming weeks."
Beiser said that the policies included in the law have been in place in the Los Angeles Unified School District for over 10 years with no problems reported. While he couldn't say the amount of time that SDUSD has had such inclusive policies, he said it has also been "many years" and there have been little to no problems.
The school board president also wanted to make sure that parents with concerns about the new law's implementation were heard, but assured them that it is only about protecting students.
"We want to assure parents, students and our community that because this new law is in effect, it doesn't mean that a student can use any restroom or other on-campus, gender-specific facility that they choose," Beiser said. "There will continue to be a process for working with children and their families to determine what is the appropriate course of action for that child."
Beiser noted that while he doesn't have a count of how many transgender students are enrolled in the district, there are a few and they are supported through a inclusive process that involves parents, school staff and counselors.
"We want to provide a nurturing environment for our transgender students so that they are able to learn and thrive," Beiser said.
Beiser and Barrera both said that it is unfortunate that there is fear and hysteria being created around this law, and is disappointed in the possible recall effort.
"We hope folks don't choose to play politics at the expense of the needs of individual kids," Barrera said.
More information about SDUSD's implementation of AB1266 is HERE.