A new law in California that will allow transgender students to pick what restroom or locker room they use is part of the reason that a state lawmaker says at least one of his sons will not be returning to a local public school.
The San Jose Mercury News reports that Republican Tim Donnelly provided more information about his family’s decision in a column he wrote that was published on WND.
“Allowing teenage boys and girls in the same locker room, showering side by side, is a bad idea," Donnelly stated on WND. "In fact, AB 1266 is a recipe for disaster. This will take the normal hormonal battles raging inside every teenager and pour gasoline onto those simmering coals. The right to privacy enjoyed by every student will be replaced by the right to be ogled.”
Gov. Jerry Brown signed the bill into law Monday, making California the first state to put such transgender protections into statute.
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Donnelly reportedly told the Associated Press on Friday that his 13- and 16-year-old sons were "horrified" to learn they might have to share a restroom with female students. He is pulling one son out of middle school, while another son is uncertain if he will return to his public high school.
“While trying to address a concern of less than 2 percent of the population, California is now forcibly violating the rights of the other 98 percent," Donnelly stated in the column on WND. "Many of the parents I have heard from within the last few days have literally pulled their kids out of public schools and have enrolled them in homeschool and private school programs.”
The law gives students the right "to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities" based on the gender they identify with as opposed to their birth gender, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Those programs also include sports team. The law takes effect Jan. 1.
Supporters said it will help reduce bullying and discrimination against transgender students and note that the state's largest school district, Los Angeles Unified, has had such a policy for nearly a decade.
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Detractors note that allowing students of one gender to use facilities intended for the other could invade the other students' privacy.