Jeff Smith 4 p.m., Dec. 20
Political committee formed to fight new state law protecting transgender students
Committee which hopes to overturn the bill includes more than a handful of local residents.
A new bill aimed at improving access to resources for transgender, gay and lesbian students in California's public schools is coming under fire by "Pro-Family" groups and religious institutions. Now, a group which calls itself the "Privacy for All Students- Stop AB1266" is raising money for a political and possible legal showdown.
Governor Jerry Brown signed the School Success and Opportunity Act, also known as Assembly Bill 1266, into law on August 12 of this year. The bill prohibits school districts from forcing some students to enroll in a particular class while simultaneously restricting access to that same course according to gender.
In addition it reads:
A school counselor, teacher, instructor, administrator, or aide may not, on the basis of the sex of a pupil, offer vocational or school program guidance to a pupil of one sex that is different from that offered to a pupil of the opposite sex or, in counseling a pupil, differentiate career, vocational, or higher education opportunities on the basis of the sex of the pupil counseled. Any school personnel acting in a career counseling or course selection capacity to a pupil shall affirmatively explore with the pupil the possibility of careers, or courses leading to careers, that are nontraditional for that pupil’s sex. The parents or legal guardian of the pupil shall be notified in a general manner at least once in the manner prescribed by Section 48980, in advance of career counseling and course selection commencing with course selection for grade 7 so that they may participate in the counseling sessions and decisions.
Participation in a particular physical education activity or sport, if required of pupils of one sex, shall be available to pupils of each sex.
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.
The bill hasn't gone over so well with socially conservative groups. They have united in an effort to repeal what they call the, "Co-ed Bathroom Bill."
On October 3, opponents created the Privacy for All Students- Stop AB1266 political action committee to begin collecting donations needed to fund a petition drive. According to an article in the Washington Times, the group hopes to collect approximately 700,000 signatures in just over a month from now.
Nearly one-hundred people have pledged money to the committee. More than a handful of those donors are residents of San Diego County. Among those donors are San Diego Unified school teacher Patricia MacIntyre, home school teacher Denise Tidwell, children's behavioral consultant from La Jolla, Joan Patton, and Qualcomm engineer, Matthew Von Damm.
The firm in charge of the committee is the conservative group, Capitol Research Institute, which according to its website is California's oldest "pro-family public policy organization. The firm is headed by Karen England, a longtime social conservative and former candidate for Lieutenant Governor.
England failed to respond to a request for comment in time for publication.
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