Assembly Bill No. 1266
An act to amend Section 221.5 of the Education Code, relating to pupil rights.
[ Approved by Governor August 12, 2013. Filed Secretary of State August 12, 2013. ]
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL’S DIGEST
AB 1266, Ammiano. Pupil rights: sex-segregated school programs and activities.
Existing law prohibits public schools from discriminating on the basis of specified characteristics, including gender, gender identity, and gender expression, and specifies various statements of legislative intent and the policies of the state in that regard. Existing law requires that participation in a particular physical education activity or sport, if required of pupils of one sex, be available to pupils of each sex.
[b]This bill would require that a pupil 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.[/b]
Vote: MAJORITY Appropriation: NO Fiscal Committee: NO Local Program: NO
The people of the State of California do enact as follows:
Section 221.5 of the Education Code is amended to read:
(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 Part 28 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) [b]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[/b].
Agreed…and it’s my hope that this thread can stay on topic (that being coaching and track & field) – without veering into other areas.
While an athlete’s gender has been a topic before, most recently with South Africa’s Caster Semenya, this bill seems to bring gender in athletics to a new level (at least in California).
If my understanding is correct, and it may not be, under this law gender is now two tiered. One being the athlete’s gender as listed on their records (kind of ambiguous – but I’d guess their gender noted at birth by the hospital) and their “gender identity”. And it is the later that has been given priority and is now used to determine access to sex (gender) segregated sports under this bill. And by that, it’s not so much as access to play football for a girl or say volleyball for a boy (where boy’s teams are not offered), but rather which of the two XC or track teams to join. And as the bill notes, once this is determined, the athlete would then train & compete with their chosen gender, have access to the locker room and other related facilities.
Obviously this has implications for coaches and fellow athletes – both on the field of competition, but also in other environments which the coach must supervise.
What is also not clear in this bill, is if the athlete is required to take steps to align their anatomy, hormone levels, etc. with their selected gender. One would suspect that this would be greater issue for anatomical male who’s gender identity is female – where male hormones may give the athlete a competitive advantage. We’ll ignore the locker room implications for both coaches and fellow athletes.
It also not clear if there is a gender declaration procedure – requiring an athlete to self-determine their gender before participation in athletics begins – or if an athlete can change gender-identification as they move through grade levels as they mature. I’d guess that elementary children may not have a full grasp of gender identity concepts.
I would be surprised if this effects a large number of athletes in California, but obviously it was an issue that they felt they needed to address in their school systems.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.