BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Angry over a new state law that requires public schools to allow transgender students access to whichever restroom or locker room they want to use, parents in the Panama-Buena Vista Union School District threatened to pull their children out of school.
"I have some major concerns with this, because this is opening up a can of worms," said parent David Mongold as he addressed the district's board of trustees.
California is the first state to enshrine these rights for transgender K-12 students. Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill into law that gives transgender students the right "to participate in sex-segregated programs, activities and facilities" based on their self-perception and regardless of their birth gender.
"I urge this board to flub your nose at Jerry Brown and tell him we will not be told how, when and where to raise our children," said another parent named Chase Baker.
Others demanded to know from individual school board members if they supported the new law. Timi Ann Mongold asked how schools plan on implementing the law.
"Are they going to have an assembly to let our children know, to let our daughters know that if a boy feels like he identifies as a girl, can he be in her restroom?" asked Mongold.
The law is set to go into practice on Jan. 1. School districts are put in a position of having to follow the law and addressing concerns from parents who feel it is wrong. Panama Buena-Vista Superintendent Kevin Silberberg said schools are obligated to serve all students, including transgender.
"The board has different options to send a message to Sacramento ... it can pass a resolution. The board can say that this will be very difficult to implement in our community," said Silberberg.