11.08.13

Rep. Takano and Eight Additional Members of Congress Denounce Attempt to Repeal School Success and Opportunity Act

Washington DC – Earlier this week, Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) was joined by eight other Members of Congress in sending a letter to California Governor Jerry Brown to express support for AB1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act, and to formally oppose the attempt to repeal the protections it provides.
 
Rep. Takano was joined by Rep. Mike Honda, Rep. Susan Davis, Rep. Sam Farr, Rep. Eric Swalwell, Rep. Henry Waxman, Rep. Barbara Lee, Rep. Jackie Speier, and Rep. Alan Lowenthal.
 
The letter details the importance of the School Success and Opportunity Act, saying “This legislation does more than just expand opportunities to provide equal educational opportunities for transgender students. A hostile school environment not only has a negative impact on the educational career of transgender students, but can increase their dropout rates, ability to go to college, and capacity for employment in the future. The School Success and Opportunity Act tells some of our most vulnerable youth that their issues are important and that they matter to their lawmakers.
 
This is why we stand in vigorous opposition to the efforts to repeal this law. People opposed to this bill say that it damages kids.”
 
The School Success and Opportunity Act was introduced in the California State Assembly by Assemblymember Tom Ammiano and was co-authored by State Senators Mark Leno and Ricardo Lara. It was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in August.
 
Full Letter Text:
 
November 5, 2013
 
The Honorable Edmund G. Brown Jr.
Governor
State of California
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
 
Dear Governor Brown,
 
In light of a recent effort targeting protections for transgender youth in California, we are writing to express our strong support for AB1266, the School Success and Opportunity Act. We thank you for signing this bill into law, which further protects LGBT youth from discrimination by allowing them “to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities, and facilities” based on their self-perceived gender.
 
The School Success and Opportunity Act allows transgender students to fully express their gender identity at school by allowing them to use restroom facilities and try out for sports teams based on the gender with which they identify. This is a crucial step in making our schools more safe and welcoming for all students. Every student deserves a chance to fully participate and thrive in school, but many transgender boys and girls are often denied meaningful educational opportunities based on who they are, which often delays their graduation. We applaud the state’s dedication to protect all students from discrimination.
 
This legislation does more than just expand opportunities to provide equal educational opportunities for transgender students. A hostile school environment not only has a negative impact on the educational career of transgender students, but can increase their dropout rates, ability to go to college, and capacity for employment in the future. The School Success and Opportunity Act tells some of our most vulnerable youth that their issues are important and that they matter to their lawmakers.
 
This is why we stand in vigorous opposition to the efforts to repeal this law. People opposed to this bill say that it damages kids. However, similar anti-discrimination provisions have been implemented in the Los Angeles Unified School District for the last eight years without any negative consequences.
 
We thank you for your support of LGBT youth and stand with you against the discriminatory agendas that hurt students.
 
Sincerely,
 
Members of Congress
 
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