The San Diego Unified School District Board of Education adopted minor revisions to policies affected by a law giving transgender students the right to use facilities and participate in activities according to their gender identity on Tuesday night.
Gov. Jerry Brown in August signed into law Assembly Bill 1266, or the School Success and Opportunity Act, which amended the state Education Code to allow students to participate in sex-segregated programs and activities, which includes sports and competitions, and to use restrooms, locker rooms or other facilities and to take health classes consistent with his or her gender identity, regardless of the gender listed on their records.
The Education Code already prohibited gender identity discrimination in educational programs and activities, however as the law took effect Jan. 1, California became the first state to explicitly allow students to access "males only" or "females only" facilities and activities according to their gender identity.
"We respect all rights and provide accommodations for all our students," Board President Kevin Beiser said. "For many years, educators have been handling this in a delicate, thoughtful and compassionate manner -- that will continue."
Updating the district's policies to include references to gender, gender identity and gender expression is a step toward district staff developing procedures and practices consistent with the law. District officials said the changes would ensure that all San Diego Unified students' rights are respected and protected.
Staffers had been working toward implementing the law since September, although the district had for years had practices in place that reflected the character of the law.
"We believe that quality schools provide a supportive environment that values diversity in the service of all students," Superintendent Cindy Marten said.
Also at tonight's meeting, the board unanimously approved both a resolution to support forming a coalition with other large urban school districts in California, and a memorandum of understanding with the San Diego Community College District that in part, outlines safety procedures for high school students taking college courses.
—City News Service