(The following was sent to parents on Friday, February 24, 2017)
On February 9, 2017, the Davis School Board approved the We All Belong Resolution providing a clear and transparent statement that DJUSD shall be a place where all students, employees and families feel welcome and safe regardless of their immigration status, race, color, ancestry, national origin, ethnic group identification, age, religion, marital or parental status, physical or mental disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or gender expression. Today, I ask you please take a moment to read the attached message from California State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson reminding Californians that State law protects transgender students’ rights.
Of note in the letter, Torlakson states, “All students deserve a safe and supportive school environment. California will continue to work to provide that environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students regardless of any misguided directives by the federal government and the Trump administration.”
Per California law AB 1266, and consistent with our We All Belong effort in Davis, students in our district will be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs, activities, and facilities including athletic teams and competitions, consistent with his or her gender identity. If you or your child have questions, I encourage you to talk to your school principal.
In DJUSD, we don’t just believe in the values of diversity and inclusion, but we have a talented, caring staff whose words and actions each day engender belonging and ensure these values are alive and thriving on our campuses and in our classrooms. I want to thank our community of parents and partners who continue to share their support and ideas with my staff on how we can continue to make DJUSD an even greater district for all students.
John A. Bowes, Ed. D.
State Schools Chief Tom Torlakson Reminds Californians that State Law Protects Transgender Students’ Rights
(Press Release)—State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson today reiterated his strong support for the rights of transgender students and reminded all Californians that state law requires public schools to allow students access to the restroom or locker room consistent with their gender identity.
“All students deserve a safe and supportive school environment. California will continue to work to provide that environment for our lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students regardless of any misguided directives by the federal government and the Trump administration,” Torlakson said.
Joint action by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice is expected to revoke federal guidelines adopted by the Obama administration in May 2016 to protect the rights of transgender students at schools by allowing them to use the bathrooms and locker rooms matching their chosen gender identity.
In 2013, California became the first state in the nation to enshrine certain rights for transgender K–12 students in state law, including the right to choose the bathroom or locker room consistent with their gender identity.
Torlakson said action announced by the White House does not roll back protections for California students and educators.
“California students will continue to have their civil rights protected,” he said. “In California we move forward, not backward.”
Governor Brown signed AB 1266 in 2013 and created protections for transgender students. The California Department of Education has Frequently Asked Questions at this web link.