February 22, 2017
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Reminds Californians that State Law Protects Transgender Students’ Rights
SACRAMENTO—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today reiterated his strong support for the rights of transgender students and reminded all Californians that state law requires public schools to allow students access to the restroom or locker room consistent with their gender identity.
“All students deserve a safe and supportive school environment. California will continue to work to provide that environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students regardless of any misguided directives by the federal government and the Trump administration,” Torlakson said.
Joint action by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice is expected to revoke federal guidelines adopted by the Obama administration in May 2016 to protect the rights of transgender students at schools by allowing them to use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen gender identity.
In 2013, California became the first state in the nation to enshrine certain rights for transgender K–12 students in state law, including the right to choose the bathroom or locker room consistent with their gender identity.
Torlakson said action announced by the White House does not roll back protections for California students and educators.
“California students will continue to have their civil rights protected,” he said. “In California we move forward, not backward.”Governor Brown signed AB 1266 in 2013 and created protections for transgender students. The California Department of Education has information on this CDE Frequently Asked Questions Web page.
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Tom Torlakson —
State Superintendent of Public Instruction
Communications Division, Room 5602, 916-319-0818, Fax 916-319-0100