Johnny Martin | Reporter
President Donald Trump announced a reversal of protections set forth during the Obama era that allowed transgender students in public schools to use bathrooms relating to their gender identity. Trump made the decision Feb. 22, giving the power back to the states and individual school districts in handling of issues surrounding this topic.
“There is already existing California Law on this so Trump’s reversal doesn’t have the impact in California that it might in other states,” Clovis Unified Assistant Superintendent Don Ulrich said.
Ulrich is in charge of Facility Services within the district and says that plans for updates and new projects set forth in the district will continue as planned.
Governor Jerry Brown approved a law back in August of 2013 that came into effect Jan. 1 the following year with the title of “School Success and Opportunity Act.” Assemblyman Tom Ammiano introduced the law citing the hope that transgender students have the same opportunities to participate and succeed as all other students.
According to the California Department of Education, the law also known as AB 1266, became a provision within the state’s Education Code, Section 221.5(f).
“A pupil shall be permitted 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.” –CA Ed Code, Section 221.5(f)
The provision goes hand in hand with Title IX, which according to the California Department of Education, “prohibits sexual harassment and discrimination based on gender or sex stereotypes in every jurisdiction.”
Clovis Unified will continue to work in conjunction with both sides when it comes this particular issue to make sure that all their students are comfortable on any of the campuses within the district.
“We are working closely with a lot of individuals on both sides of this issue to make sure our students are afforded access to bathrooms and locker rooms in a way they are comfortable with,” Clovis Unified Chief Communications Officer Kelly Avants said. “When we’re working with our students in the way that we should be to know who are kids are, know what they’re going through and know where they are at in a wide variety of emotional areas. We’re already in communication with them in those areas so this is long in the process before a conversation even comes up.”