The Siskiyou Union High School District board took no action to fight a new law that assures transgender students equal access to programs and facilities at their meeting Oct. 9. Instead, trustees are “staying focused on implementing laws in a fashion that protects all students,” said superintendent Mike Matheson.
During the meeting, held at Weed High School, the board watched a 20 minute segment of a webinar that addresses Assembly Bill 1266. They were also provided with information about how districts can implement the new law in their district.
Matheson pointed out that all students are already protected in the education code, but AB 1266 specifically addresses and formalizes the rights of transgender students.
AB 1266 was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Aug. 12 and has been referred to by some as the “School Bathroom Bill.” It will go into effect Jan 1, 2014.
According to the text of the legislation, the law is meant to give transgender students equal rights to school programs and facilities, regardless of their birth gender.
Those opposed to the law believe it will force co-ed locker rooms and that it infringes on the privacy of other students.
At the SUHSD board meeting last month, several members of the community asked the board to write a letter to state legislators opposing AB 1266, asserting it violates privacy rights.
Matheson said that movement “didn’t gain traction” with the board and no trustee put forth a request to write such a letter.
The district will continue to “follow legal guidance” to implement the new law, Matheson said.
In other business, the board approved an agreements with the classified employees bargaining unit.
The board also approved a district procedure for developing a Local Control Accountability Plan, Matheson said. The Curriculum and Communication Council will be used in a formalized fashion for this role, Matheson said.
Each school district in the state must formulate an LCAP to get funding under the new Local Control Funding Formula, he explained, and the plan must align with the district’s budget to ensure implementation.
The SUHSD board of trustees will meet next at Happy Camp High School on Wednesday, Nov. 13 beginning at 4 p.m.