California lawmaker introduces bill to require all-gender restrooms in schools

State Sen. Josh Newman, D-Fullerton, has introduced legislation that would require all K-12 schools in California to provide students with access to all-gender restrooms during school hours.

California’s schools are currently required to give students access to restrooms consistent with their gender, but are not explicitly required to have gender-neutral restrooms, according to Newman’s office. His bill, SB 760, would change that. The bill does not require schools to get rid of traditional gender-segregated bathrooms, but does mandate that they have at least one gender-neutral bathroom.

“Schools should provide a safe and inclusive environment for all students, one where they’re able to focus on learning and where they’re encouraged to thrive academically, socially and emotionally,” Newman, who also chairs the Senate’s education committee, said in a statement. “Let’s face it— at some point during a typical 8-hour school day, everyone is going to have to go. By requiring all California K-12 schools to provide gender-inclusive restroom facilities on campus, we’ll ensure the well-being of our LGBTQ+ and non-binary students and ensure safer school communities for everyone.”

Among the bills sponsors is State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, who said in a statement that the legislation would help California “lead the nation by providing adequate access to gender-inclusive bathrooms on all campuses.”

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