The following comes from a February 9 San Diego Union-Tribune article by Gary Warth:
A transgender student who changes in a boys locker room at Rancho Bernardo High School has triggered a dispute over a 2-year-old state law that seeks to accommodate such students.
The Poway Unified School District board meeting was packed Tuesday night with people raising a broad array of questions about student rights.
Holly Franz, one of the speakers at the meeting, said she learned when the semester resumed three weeks ago that a student who was born female but identifies as male was changing in the locker room.
Franz said she understands that the district has to follow the law that allows the student to use the locker room, but she would like the school to make accommodations for other students who may feel awkward about the situation. She also urged the board of trustees to notify all students if there is a transgender student where other students change clothes.
Advocates for transgender rights responded by starting a petition on Change.org asking the district to take no action regarding the issue. As of Tuesday afternoon, about 1,200 people had signed the online petition.
Supporters of the petition said they do not want the district to make accommodations that would segregate transgender students. Franz said she is not asking for segregation, but rather wants all students to have the option to have privacy in the locker room.
The issue was raised during the public comment portion of the school board meeting, so trustees could take no action Tuesday night because the discussion was not part of the agenda, nor did they suggest staff consider a course of action.
“My son came home from school and told me there was a girl using the boys locker room,” Franz said before the meeting. “This is someone he’s known for years and has always been a girl. My son was very upset by this, and I called the principal.”
Franz said she understands that school districts have to make accommodations for transgender students because of a law that went into effect in January 2014 under Assembly Bill 1266. She’s upset because she says the district has not taken into consideration the feelings of other students.
“Our position is all about our kids’ modesty and privacy,” she said. “I’ve been contacted by so many students, and they all have their own reasons for privacy.”
Siobhan Garry, 17, a Westview High School senior who started the Change.org petition, had no problem with the idea of creating private changing areas for all students.
“Every student finds changing in the locker room fairly uncomfortable to a certain degree,” said Siobhan, a transgender student who identifies as nonbinary, or not exclusively male or female.