School Board Accounts for Transgender Students in New Athletic Amendment

The Conejo Valley Unified School District (CVUSD) Board of Education passed an amendment that will give transgender students the ability to play on the sports team of the gender they identify with on Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Administrative regulation 6145.2, which had previously received a 2-2 vote from the board, also ensures students the right to use the locker room that correlates with their gender identity. It passed with a 3-1 vote, with board member Mike Dunn declining to vote on legal grounds.

Although he did not vote, Dunn was vocal in his opposition to the amendment because it would potentially allow for people of biological opposite sexes sharing bathrooms or locker rooms.

“We have an obligation to represent the views of the majority of the people in this community and the people in this community have made it crystal clear,” Dunn said. “They don’t want biological boys and girls taking showers together or using bathrooms together.”

However, constituents present at the board meeting were overwhelmingly in support of the amendment. Over 11 people spoke in favor of the action item.

“As a transgender student, no, as a student, my rights should not be a controversy. My safety should not be determined by the comfort of other people” said Julian Foley, a senior at Century Academy.

Other community members, including Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) advisor Lucia Lemieux, spoke in support of compliance with the already standing state laws regarding transgender students.

“The Supreme Court and California state law have spoken on the various issues of gender identity and LGBT civil rights and we as a district of educators, despite our personal beliefs, are obliged to uphold them,” Lemieux said. “We cannot discriminate.”

Dunn and Superintendent Ann Bonitatibus had previously discussed enforcing the use of separate, single stall facilities by transgender students. However, this idea was not supported by the community.

“To have us separated and put into different locker rooms would really just remind me of what happened back in the 60’s with the colored and uncolored water fountains,”Jason Pressey, a speaker at the meeting, said.

This sentiment was echoed by several speakers, including board president Betsy Connolly.

According to Bonitatibus, in order to address the issue of privacy on a large scale, the district is working on adding privacy stalls to locker rooms.

“That way, they can be used for anybody,” Bonitatibus said.

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