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South Dakota Governor Could Sign First Bill That Will Ban Transgendered Students from Non-Biological Restrooms

South Dakota Governor Could Sign First Bill That Will Ban Transgendered Students from Non-Biological Restrooms

South Dakota’s House and Senate both passed a bill that will ban transgendered students from using restrooms they identify with versus biological ones.

Now, the bill will head to Republican Gov. Dennis Daugaard’s desk to be signed off. If it is signed, it will be the first legislation to ban transgendered students from using certain restrooms in schools.

However, “[t]he bill states that if a student says he or she is transgender, and a parent 'consents to that assertion in writing,' the student should be given a 'reasonable accommodation,’” said CNN.

The bill says reasonable accommodation includes access to unisex or single-occupancy restrooms, or controlled use of a restroom or locker room.

State Rep. Fred Deutsch authored the bill because he said it will provide physical privacy to students.

"If the South Dakota bill becomes law, it would contrast starkly with legislation elsewhere in the country,” said CNN.

In November, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights investigated a school district in Illinois for denying a transgendered student access to the locker room and restrooms that she identified with.

Referred to as Student A, the OCR ruled that the accommodations provided for the student resulted in embarrassment and inconvenience and ordered the district to make changes.

Though the decision was intended to only be applicable to the specific school district, the message was viewed as OCR’s stance on the matter, which seems to be in direct conflict with the new South Dakota legislation.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

2/17/2016

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