Californians are mostly stunned and outraged by AB1266 which will virtually deprive students in public schools from K-12 their privacy rights and affect girls' rights to participate in sports. AB1266 is unprecedented in the country. Much to our chagrin, it has already been signed into law by California Governor and will be effective January 1, 2014. Our coalition is doing a referendum to repeal this pernicious law and we need to have over 505,000 signatures before November 12th of this year to put this on the ballot of 2014.
To start with, the operational section of this law is extremely brief and vague, having only 37 words. It reads, "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." It is poorly drafted and flawed, containing no guidelines and no standards.
We certainly do not discriminate against anybody. But how can all the students' privacy be completely sacrificed due to the unique situation of a very small percentage of students? Privacy is especially momentous or sensitive to students during puberty period. This can be confusing, chaotic, or even calamitous in many schools. In a recent survey that we did, 62% of the respondents objected to the idea of having both male students and female students in the same shower and locker room. Thus, we are confident that we will prevail with the ballot if we have enough signatures to qualify.
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This legislation, furthermore, does not require any student having gender identity issue to register with the school in advance. That means on any given day, for example, a male student can claim to be a female and bump into the female restroom and shower at will. The law also does not prohibit him from changing his mind on this back and forth. Sex predators would have the benefit of the doubt with this new law which is deleterious to students and has already created much anxiety and fear among the students especially the female ones.
It is, moreover, conceivable that with this new law, more and more male students will play in female sports teams and then shower together with females after playing. Female students' rights to participate in sports will thus be affected. For example, some of them will be deprived of the rights to represent their schools since females usually cannot be compared to males physically.
In an attempt to protect students on privacy, Pacific Justice Institute has created a form for students and parents to fill out and return to the school authority. This document reminds the school authority that the AB1266 cannot dictate everything since there are federal and state laws protecting students' privacy rights. Pacific Justice Institute is tenacious in helping every student victimized by this new law.
Now our coalition, including parents' groups, students' organizations, community groups, religious alliances, and even civil rights organizations, urges every registered voter to sign our petition to repeal AB1266. The whole country is on alert and people everywhere are concerned. Suffice it to say, it is imperative that we spread the news and work assiduously together against this unacceptable, ill-conceived, and disastrous new law!
To participate in the referendum, sign the referendum, download petition long forms, and find out where to pickup the forms, visit the Privacy For All Students website.