Originally posted at 1:39 p.m. Sept. 26, 2013.
Meeting the needs of transgender students was once again the topic at the Capistrano Unified school board meeting Wednesday, with speakers on both sides of the issue making suggestions on how to comply with a new state law allowing transgender students to go in any bathroom with which they feel comfortable.
Issues relating to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students have come up several times before the Board of Trustees, most recently last meeting, when parents and LGBT leaders protested the placement of a person they view as a political opponent on a textbook review committee.
That committee member, Stanley Wasbin of San Clemente – who earlier this year asked the trustees to ignore the mandates of a new law requiring the contributions of the LGBT community be included in social studies textbooks – took the podium again to address Assembly Bill 1266, signed by Gov. Brown in August.
“Just because something is law doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good idea,” Wasbin told trustees. The item was not on the agenda.
After he spoke, a transgender employee of the district, urged trustees to come up with solutions to meet the law’s requirements.
The new law prevents school districts from barring students from a single-sex setting like a men's basketball team or a women's locker room.
Wasbin said that he feared boys will abuse the law just to get access to girls bathrooms and locker rooms.
“Two words: teenaged boys,” he said.
Wasbin urged the district to seek a waiver to get out of having to put “urinals in girls’ bathrooms.”
He added: “If Capistrano Unified fails to get away from AB1266, just imagine the amount of time, money and paperwork that will be devoted to creating new bathroom policy.”
But Marshall Morgan, a school bus driver, said the district now has the opportunity to serve transgender students, who probably number at least 500 within the district.
“Restrooms, the choices are boys or girls,” Morgan said. “Most transgendered students make this decision based on where they won’t get ridiculed abused or hurt.”
He suggested the district create a third, “gender-neutral option” and change the signage. Locker rooms, Morgan added, would be tricker.
“Our children can’t make the right choices if we don’t make the right options available for them to choose from,” he said.