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AB1266 Signed into Law

AB1266 Signed into Law

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ACLU SoCal
ACLU SoCal

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10/31/2013

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 For Immediate Release: August 12, 2013Contact: Diana Rubio, 213.977.5252
Governor Brown Signs Historic Transgender Students Bill into Law
 New Law is First of its Kind in the NationSACRAMENTO—Today, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed the historic School Success andOpportunity Act into law, ensuring transgender youth have the opportunity to fully participateand succeed in schools across the state. Assembly Bill 1266—which goes into effect onJanuary 1, 2014—was authored by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and passed the CaliforniaState Senate and Assembly earlier this summer. The law is the first of its kind in the country,and requires that California public schools respect students’ gender identity and makes surethat students can fully participate in all school activities, sports teams, programs, and facilitiesthat match their gender identity."I'm so excited that California is making sure transgender students have a fair chance tograduate and succeed," said Calen Valencia, an 18-year-old transgender student from Tulare. "Ishould have graduated this year, but my school refused to give me the same opportunity tosucceed as other boys. Now other transgender youth won't have to choose between beingthemselves and graduating high school."Co-authored by Senators Mark Leno and Ricardo Lara and Assemblymember Toni Atkins, thebill is backed by a coalition of leading organizations, including Transgender Law Center, Gay-Straight Alliance Network, Gender Spectrum, Equality California, ACLU of California, NationalCenter for Lesbian Rights, statewide teacher and parent organizations, and dozens of other organizations.The new law builds on a national movement to end discriminatory practices and ensuretransgender youth have the same opportunity to succeed as other students. Massachusetts andColorado have statewide policies in line with AB 1266, and the Colorado and Maine statehuman rights commissions have held that state law requires schools to respect students’ gender identity. Additionally, many school districts across the country have adopted policies that ensureno student is left out, including the Los Angeles Unified School District, the nation’s secondlargest school district.California law already prohibits discrimination in education, but transgender students have beenoften discriminated against and unfairly excluded from physical education, athletic teams, andother school activities, and facilities. This exclusion negatively impacts students’ ability to

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