Bathroom Battle: Transgender Law Angers Opponents

Implementation of AB-1266 goes into effect Jan. 1

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - When Governor Jerry Brown signed AB-1266 into law in August, parental reaction was loud and clear:  allowing transgender students to use the school facilities of their choice was simply unacceptable.  Over the past two months, the anger has subsided but the opposition has not.  "It's going to open a door to all kinds of danger to other kids," said Lorenzo Montecino, a father of two.  "I'm feeling other kids would abuse the policy and maybe other adults abuse the policy."

Panama Buena Vista Union School District trustee Dean Haddock said he believes the law is a distraction from what he considers more important issues.  "The kids need to be learning how to do better math, more reading.  Those kinds of things," said Haddock.  "They don't need to be worried about who's going to the bathroom with them."

Haddock is also the chairman of the Kern County Republican Party which is actively pursuing the repeal of AB-1266.  And Haddock is a clinical psychologist who believes, based on scientific research, that catering to transgender students is unnecessary.  "Most of the kids outgrow this anyway," said Haddock.  "If you don't support it, most of the time they just outgrow it."  When asked if his personal or professional opinions might prevent him from upholding the new law, Haddock said the law comes first.  "Whether it's an intellectual thing or a developmental thing," said Haddock, "we have to protect all of our kids and the law is the law and we have to support it."

At least one transgender teen believes the law is vital to keeping other transgender students in school.  On Wednesday on 23ABC News at 6, that teen will share his experience of attending school without the law in place and why it played a role in his future education.

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