The Anchorage Education Association (AEA), which represents thousands of students across the city, today announced its opposition to Proposition 1 in Anchorage.
Prop 1 would repeal nondiscrimination protections already in place for transgender people, and would allow anyone to demand a person produce their birth certificate before being allowed into a bathroom. These protections have been in effect since 2015, and in that time, there has been no uptick in public safety incidents — a fact that Anchorage Chief of Police Justin Doll testified to late last year.
“The members of the Anchorage Education Association are proud to stand with business and community groups in saying ‘No’ to Proposition 1. Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance protects everyone, but it’s particularly important for students we serve every day,” said Tom Klaameyer, President of the Anchorage Education Association. “Our educators will always stand up for students and make sure that they are safe and respected in all Anchorage schools.”
The AEA’s decision follows an earlier statement given by Dr. Deena Bishop, superintendent of Anchorage School District. While the district is legally prohibited from taking positions on ballot initiatives, Superintendent Bishop made it clear that these existing protections have worked well for the past two years and that if passed, Prop 1 could not be enforced in Anchorage schools:
“The enforcement of this policy is not possible. We will not stand guard at our restroom doors. So as we move forward and learn what this brings to us, we are keeping student safety in mind. There is nothing in the budget that moves forward anyone to play the role of law enforcement in the restroom.”
In addition, AEA members have also offered their support:
“I’m voting No on Prop 1 because I want our schools to remain safe, inclusive and welcoming for ALL students.” — Sara Dykstra
“As educators, we encourage all our students to be their true selves and we celebrate their uniqueness and diversity. Shouldn’t our students who are transgender be included in that? Proposition 1 would require schools to discriminate against students who are transgender and Anchorage students deserve far better than that!” — Shauna Booton
“As a teacher in Anchorage I believe that my students have a right to feel safe not just here at school but also in our community. I am voting No on Prop 1 because I respect my trans students and community members rights to privacy and safety. No one should ever force you to prove anything when you are engaging in a basic need like going to the bathroom. Prop 1 doesn’t represent the values of our community or our state.” — Michaela Hernandez
The coalition against Prop 1 continues to grow, and includes faith leaders, safety advocates, law enforcement professionals, and businesses throughout Anchorage. Click here to visit our videos page, and see those taking a stand against Prop 1.
Fair Anchorage thanks the AEA for encouraging the people of Anchorage of Vote No on Prop 1.