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New state bill on transgender students

California public schools would be required to allow transgender students to use school facilities and participate in activities and on sports teams that match their gender identity under a bill introduced at the Capitol.

State law already prohibits schools from discriminating on the basis of gender identity, but backers of the measure, AB1266, say some schools and school districts don't provide access to restrooms, locker rooms or sports teams that align with the identity of transgender students.

The bill would make it clear that the law requires that, they said.

"Transgender boys are boys, and transgender girls are girls, and this bill ensures they are treated as such," said Masen Davis, executive director of the Transgender Law Center, which is backing the bill introduced by Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco.

Barring a transgender student from using a locker room that aligns with his or her gender identity can create barriers to achieving needed credits for graduating, backers said, and stopping a student from participating on a sports team diminishes involvement in school.

They said some students feel unsafe at school when they are required to use a restroom that doesn't match their gender identity. The proposed law includes the phrase that the access to programs, facilities and activities shall be granted "irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil's records."

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San Francisco Chronicle

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