Boys In Girls Locker Rooms? Gov. Signs Transgender Rights Bill - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Boys In Girls Locker Rooms? Gov. Signs Transgender Rights Bill

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PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KMPH) -

California is the first state in the entire country to give certain rights to transgender students at public schools.  Governor Jerry Brown signed the controversial bill into law on Monday.

The law says transgender students can participate in sex–segregated school programs and activities, which includes sports and competitions, based on the gender the student identifies with. Under the law, transgender students can also use whatever restrooms and locker rooms they like. The school also does not have to classify the student using the gender listed on school records.

The new law is raising a lot of questions about how school sports will be affected and if having a transgender student on a sports team is fair.

"I do think there could be a lot of problems down the road with this," says Parent Angie Dempsie, "I don't think it's going to be settled until the first time something happens and it becomes an issue."

Parents in Porterville have a lot of questions and concerns about the new law. All the parents we spoke with say that transgender students should be given a fair shot to make a sports team.

"It's kind of heartbreaking to deny somebody something that they want to do," says Parent John Lopez.

However, parents say when it comes to a boy playing on a girl's team that's when opinions change.

"A guy playing a female sport, there's a little advantage there," adds Lopez.

The California Interscholastic Federation or CIF commissioner says it doesn't matter what parents think about the new law, because they can't do anything about it.

"It's a very touchy subject," says Jim Crichlow, CIF Central Section Commissioner, "It's something where being an old constitutional civics teacher I wish we didn't deal with, because I don't think it has to anything with us as a government or as CIF."

While the new law doesn't go into effect until January 1st, CIF already allows students to play on sports teams based on the gender they identify with. The new rule just went effect this summer and CIF did it in preparation for the new law. The process for a transgender student is they will go in front of a panel of 5, which includes doctors, a psychiatrist, a transgender activist and CIF representative to determine if the student is being sincere. What the CIF hasn't decided is what happens if a transgender student breaks a record.

"That's something we've kind of talked about, but never came up with answer," adds Crichlow.

Parents want answers to that question; because they say it's something that will come up.

"There's a chance having a transgender child playing on that team hurts their record than that's going to be a very unpopular decision," adds Dempsie.

A representative from "Trans–E–Motion", an advocacy group for transgender people, says the new law will help transgender students feel like they're apart of the high school community. He also hopes it will cut down on suicide rates for transgender students.

To read the entire Transgender Rights Bill click here.

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