"Is            Here?"

Published on Feb. 26 2020

COMMUNITY

Transgender student speaks about the law AB-711.

By Javier Manzano

Meet junior Leo Molina, a transgender student at AHS. They talk about their experiences and their opinion on the new law AB-711 that is meant to help and support the transgender commmunity as well as the whole LGBTQ+ community that feels as if they do not identify with their body or name. Molina had several suggestions on what laws to place into power in addition to the law AB-711.

         

The law AB-711 is a new law that makes schools in California legally change the name of transgender students. According to the California State Legislature’s website, they state, “This bill would require a school district, charter school, or county office of education to update a former pupil’s records to include the pupil’s updated legal name or gender if the school district, charter school, or county office of education receives government-issued documentation, as described, demonstrating that the former pupil’s legal name or gender has been changed.

         

This bill would require the school district, charter school, or county office of education to reissue specified documents conferred upon, or issued to, the former pupil with the former pupil’s updated legal name or gender, if requested by the former pupil. The bill would also require the school district, charter school, or county office of education to add a new document to the former pupil’s file documenting specified details of the request and reissuance, as provided.”

         

"Just lower the age that you can change your name at to 17 because at 18 most kids can do it, most seniors can do it, and they can change it for their certificate so that it says their preferred name,” Molina said. “Then there ́s a few kids like me where I ́m going to graduate at 17, so I have to get my parent’s permission to change my name on my birth certificate so that it will show up on my diploma. And they might say no, and I really don’t want my birth name on my high school diploma, so just to lower it to 17.”

 

History teacher Kaedan Peters identifies as queer. Peters talked about the conflict between students wanting to be called by their new name and people coming out.

         

"I feel positive. I have questions like if the person legally changes their name, then schools have to acknowledge it [because] I know there are some moments where a student doesn’t want their parents to know...I have questions about how that might interact with that,” Peters said.

         

Peters believes that there are changes the school can make to better support the LGBTQ+ community.

         

"I would make it so kids could use whatever bathroom they wanted. I would make it so that there was more comprehensive sex-ed [and] to not make it so heterosexual and cis- gender focused,” Molina said. “I would have curriculum expanded so it includes more mention of trans people. I would have more trainings for [teachers]. There’s just so many things that could support trans students just to be included." 

         

This law would help with name-related problems such as names on diplomas and school IDs. Molina identifies an issue with substitutes, who call students by their birth names, and how this law would be very useful to them.

         

"I know a problem that I have is that when substitute teachers are here, they call me by my birth name instead of my preferred name. That causes a lot of dysphoria, which is uncomfortability. In general, [it makes me feel like I'm] in the body that I don’t feel that I belong in,” Molina said. “So it will help a lot with dysphoria and not having to clarify to every single sub [that], ‘Hey, the name that‘s on the roster is not what I want you to call me." •

AB-711

A brief explanation of the new law in California, AB-711. Here is a look at what AB-711 is and how it impacts the AHS students and faculty as well as the state.

Understanding the law:

          “This bill would require a school district, charter school, or county office of education to update a former pupil’s records to include the pupil’s updated legal name or gender if the school district, charter school, or county office of education receives government-issued documentation, as described, demonstrating that the former pupil’s legal name or gender has been changed.

          This bill would require the school district, charter school, or county office of education to reissue specified documents conferred upon, or issued to, the former pupil with the former pupil’s updated legal name or gender, if requested by the former pupil. The bill would also require the school district, charter school, or county office of education to add a new document to the former pupil’s file documenting specified details of the request and reissuance, as provided.” - California State Legislature

What AB-711 means for AHS:

 

AB-711 means that if a student were to change their name, all the teachers and faculty must change everything associated with their old name and replace it with their current name. This law would allow students to feel more like themselves and overall benefit transgender students as well as our incoming student and generations.