New California Law Requires Schools To Have Gender Neutral Restroom
Close-up of sign for all gender restroom in Dublin, California, with male, female and gender-inclusive stick figure illustrations, March 13, 2019. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

A new California law will require all of the state’s public schools to soon have a gender-neutral bathroom.

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signed the law on Saturday.

Under the new bathroom law, public schools teaching first through 12th grade must have at least one gender-neutral bathroom available for students by 2026.

California already requires K-12 public schools to allow students to use the bathroom of the opposite sex if it matches their gender identity, due to a 2013 law.

However, the new law expands the bathroom requirements to explicitly require another gender-neutral restroom.

Several other bills Newsom signed on Saturday geared toward LGBT youth as well.

One bill involves “LGBTQ cultural competency training” for public school teachers and staff. Another new law requires foster care families to “demonstrate an ability and willingness to meet the needs of a child, regardless of the child’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression.”

“California is proud to have some of the most robust laws in the nation when it comes to protecting and supporting our LGBTQ+ community, and we’re committed to the ongoing work to create safer, more inclusive spaces for all Californians,” Newsom said in a statement upon signing the law.

“These measures will help protect vulnerable youth, promote acceptance, and create more supportive environments in our schools and communities,” the governor said.

According to The Associated Press, the gender-neutral bathroom law “was spurred” by a Los Angeles area school district that recently implemented a policy on student gender transitions.

The Chino Valley Unified School District approved a new policy in July requiring schools to inform parents if their child begins identifying as a new gender that does not match the one on their birth certificate. This includes if a student asks to use the bathroom or play on the sports teams of the opposite sex.

During the school board meeting at which Chino Valley district adopted the policy, California’s superintendent of public instruction Tony Thurmond was escorted out by security after he showed up to argue against it.


Last month, California Attorney General Rob Bonta sued the Chino Valley district over the parental notification policy.

A judge has temporarily halted the district’s policy as the lawsuit proceeds.

The Chino Valley school board president responded to the state’s lawsuit by accusing state officials of “overstepping their boundaries.”

“This is a ploy to try to scare all the other boards across California from adopting the policy,” Chino Valley school board president Sonja Shaw said. “I won’t back down and will stand in the gap to protect our kids from big government bullies.”

In August, the Murrieta Valley Unified School District south of Los Angeles adopted a policy that mirrors the Chino Valley policy.

The California attorney general quickly denounced the Murrieta Valley district’s new policy as well, calling it a “forced outing policy.”

RELATED: Newsom Vetoes Bill Allowing Judges To Consider Whether A Parent ‘Affirms’ Child’s Gender Identity During Custody Disputes

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