HB 2801 filed this morning by Rep. Gilbert Pena, R-Pasadena, relates to public facilities in a public school. It’s not just another damned bill targeting the transgender community; it’s also just an odd bill.
School districts must “adopt a policy providing that only persons of the same biological sex may be present at the same time in any bathroom, locker room or shower facility in a building owned by the district,” but here’s a twist: school districts must also provide “reasonable alternate” public facility accommodations to a student if the student’s gender identity is different from the student’s biological sex and the student’s parent or guardian consents in writing to the provision of alternate accommodations.”
What could have been thoughtful, however, turns nasty once again: School districts are liable for a student’s “mental anguish” if any district employee knowingly allows a student whose gender identity doesn’t match their “biological sex” to enter the bathroom, locker room or shower facility with other students, or fails to take “reasonable steps” to keep that from happening.
If the student flips out, sues and prevails — let’s call it trans panic —the student gets up to $2,000, plus the district must pay their court fees as well as “damages for mental anguish even if an injury other than mental anguish is not shown.”
No word if a transgender student can sue the school district for the mental anguish of getting beaten up by the other student.