Parents apprehensive about new school year with transgender law

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - With the majority of schools set to begin Aug. 19 in Kern County, it appears that parents are the ones feeling apprehensive about the new school year. At issue is a new state law that allows students who identify themselves as transgender to use restrooms and join sports teams according to the gender they choose.

"That's an invasion of privacy," said Christian Lautsch, who has one child in high school and another in fifth grade.

The Pacific Justice Institute, a conservative legal foundation based in Sacramento, has taken up the cause. It is urging parents to fill out a form from its' website called Notice of Reasonable Expectation of Privacy and hand it in to school officials.

"(It's) putting the school district on notice that they do not surrender their child's right to privacy in school," said Brad Dacus, president of PJI.

But Dacus concedes it will not stop the law from being implemented on Jan. 1.

Parents have already started speaking out since Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB1266 into law. Several addressed the Panama Buena-Vista Union School District Board of Trustees, saying they do not want their daughters sharing their showers and restroom with biological boys.

"I definitely think they should fight it, absolutely," said Maureen Hamstreet, who has three grandchildren in school.

Lawsuits are expected to be filed in an effort to stop the law from being implemented on Jan. 1.

Supporters point out schools in Los Angeles and San Francisco have been operating under similar rules for years, with no problems.