Archive | March, 2013

CA Bill to Ensure the Well- Being of Transgender Students

16 Mar

CA Bill to Ensure the Well- Being of Transgender Students

Okay- let’s not be mistaken- this is not as specific an assembly bill as THIS “transmom” would write…but with that said, the “School Success and Opportunity Act, Assembly Bill 1266” is a breath of fresh air! We are talkin’ the beginnings of legal equal access….and for the part that it addresses- the bill speaks DIRECTLY to our students’ needs!! Does it mention bathroom accessibility? Hmm- nope…but it does say the word, “facilities”. If nothing else, I would imagine this will help pave the way from which bathroom choice would be more successfully argued? I am wondering if the bill’s authors, Assemblymember Tom Ammiano, Senator Mark Leno and Senator Ricardo Lara considered it might be more difficult to pass if they just came out and wrote, “full access to the bathroom of a student’s choice”. Is the bill more “palatable” and therefore, easier to pass by noting, “facilities” and not specifying what kind?

My greatest dream is that parents like Leslie Lagerstrom (whose story about meeting her son Sam’s teachers) will no longer have to fear having their children attend school. ALL of our children SHOULD be able to delight confidently in learning safely throughout their school careers! Assembly Bill 1266- let’s get started!


SECTION 1. Section 221.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:

221.5. (a) It is the policy of the state that elementary and secondary school classes and courses, including nonacademic and elective classes and courses, be conducted, without regard to the sex of the pupil enrolled in these classes and courses.
(b) A school district may not prohibit a pupil from enrolling in any class or course on the basis of the sex of the pupil, except a class subject to Chapter 5.6 (commencing with Section 51930) of

Part28 of Division 4 of Title 2 .
(c) A school district may not require a pupil of one sex to enroll in a particular class or course, unless the same class or course is also required of a pupil of the opposite sex.
(d) 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.
(e) Participation in a particular physical education activity or sport, if required of pupils of one sex, shall be available to pupils of each sex.
(f) A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs, activities, and facilities, including athletic teams and competitions, consistent with his or her gender identity,
irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.


Gender Idenity is NOT Simply Body Parts!

13 Mar

Gender Idenity is NOT Simply Body Parts!

Check out the link above!  This is the same little girl and her parents that visited the Katie Couric Show recently. It is a shame that she is not able to speak for herself- the short interview clip with her is not really that compelling. However, the commentary from Donna Rose on the web page will be interesting- and I hope – persuasive for CNN readers!

This will be an interesting case to follow: when an individual (young or older) has identified as a gender BOTH socially and legally, when will it be their RIGHT to actually use the bathroom of their choice? No, not to use a DIFFERENT bathroom…but the SAME bathroom as his/her gender identified peers. When, oh when, will we stop believing that Separate But Equal has been abolished?! It is alive and living with our transgender children every day.

Moms- Let us support ALL children who seek to live authentic lives!


Leslie Lagerstrom: Meeting Sam’s Teachers

12 Mar

Leslie Lagerstrom: Meeting Sam’s Teachers

Please click on the link above and read this brief blog from an obviously loving mother who is doing her very best to support her son in school.

Let’s face it: the middle school years are brutal for even those of us who conform and can slide through without drawing too much attention to ourselves. But deviate from the norm? You are immediately set up for ridicule!

Sam’s mom is attempting to shield her son from even the ADULT version of such persecution. As an educator, I am routinely horrified to hear of teachers (like some of Sam’s) who are not even willing to think outside of the box in an effort to provide the most supportive environment for students! Unfortunately, Sam’s mother walked away from the introductions to her son’s teachers worrying that at least two of them did not hear his needs and if ANY of them are really going to follow through. 

Our children need to feel safe and secure EVERYWHERE- ESPECIALLY at school! As an educator, I respect the gravity of my position. It is through my modeling (every minute!) that my students learn how to treat one another and that respect belongs to each- ALWAYS and in ALL WAYS! Unfortunately, our society has to learn…and this education often takes a most excruciatingly slow and circuitous road.

As moms, there is NO DELAY! Follow the example of Sam’s mom and be the voice of reason your child deserves!