South Dakota’s Senate voted on Tuesday, 20-15, to approve a bill that would prevent transgender students from using the facilities that match the gender of which they identify and live. The bill has already passed in the House, and is awaiting the Governor’s action.
Transgender students, like all students, should have a fair opportunity to participate fully in school. Preventing them from using the restroom that matches their gender could put them in danger of being singled out or bullied by their peers and could create additional barriers in the way of getting school work done or being able to fully participate in school programs.
If the Governor signs the bill, it would put South Dakota at odds with Federal law. In an article for which Equality Federation provided background information, TIME reported that “…the Department of Justice has issued several rulings and opinions that classify denying bathroom access to transgender students as sex discrimination under Title IX. The Department of Education has issued similar guidance, saying that the gender identity of students must be respected.”
Equality Federation is working closely with the ACLU and Equality South Dakota to educate lawmakers on the importance giving all students, including transgender students, a fair and equal opportunity to thrive in school.
Please join us in asking the Governor to veto this discriminatory bill.
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