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MHS student referenced in ballot fight

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POSTED November 14, 2013 1:20 a.m.

There are not very many 16-year-olds who can say they are caught up in a statewide political campaign.

After opponents submitted 620,000 signatures last week to qualify a ballot measure to overturn a new law aimed at protecting transgender students, the Sacramento Bee referenced Manteca High’s Ashton Lee in an editorial.

The Bee is hoping that enough signatures are disqualified so the effort will fall short of the required 505,000 signatures to qualify the proposed ballot measure for the 2014 statewide election.

The new law protects the right of transgender K-12 students to have access to school programs and facilities matching their gender orientation.

The Bee editorial goes on to state, “In June, the Senate Education Committee heard from one such transgender student. Ashton Lee, a 16-year-old transgender boy from Manteca, said he wanted to play high school football, but that his school forced him to take PE in a class of all girls.

“Often worse are the situations that transgender and gender-neutral students face when forced to use boy’s bathrooms and locker rooms, where they can face heckling and worse. The potential for violence was disturbingly illustrated by the recent attack on Luke Fleischman, an 18-year-old from Oakland. Fleischman, who identifies himself as gender neutral, suffered second- and third-degree burns after his skirt was set on fire while he was sleeping on a bus.”

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