BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) - A petition to overturn a California law that gives transgender students the right to use the public school restroom or locker room of their choice will not appear on the November ballot.
The debate over which restrooms transgender students should be allowed to use isn't over, but the valid number of signatures to get the bill added to November’s ballot did fall short - a victory that directly impacts those who feel they identify as the opposite sex from what they were born.
Dean Welliver, of Bakersfield, identifies himself as a transgender 17-year-old male. Welliver said he felt he had to take online classes his senior year, because he felt his school lacked guidelines necessary to ensure he could attend school as himself.
"This law is just about making sure transgender students can go to school," Welliver said Tuesday. "I really wanted to be able to participate in school life. You know, clubs, be on campus with my friends, you know, dances, all the stuff that a school, a traditional public school, has to offer. All the opportunities. But it was just too painful for me."