No parent wants to hear their school-aged daughter saying, through sobs, “A boy walked into my locker room at school and saw me changing after gym.” The people of South Dakota have an opportunity to make sure that doesn’t happen.
The South Dakota Senate is about to consider HB 1008, a bill that is designed to protect the privacy of our school children. If the bill passes, and Governor Daugaard signs it, it will require every elementary and secondary public school in the state to protect the privacy of boys and girls by ensuring that boys and girls do not use the same restrooms, locker rooms, or shower rooms together. Rather, if a child has the physical attributes of a male when he’s born, he will need to use the facilities for males. And if a child has the physical attributes of a female when she’s born, she will need to use the facilities for females.
FHA Action Executive Director Dale Bartscher announced today that the South Dakota House of Representatives had overwhelmingly passed House Bill 1008 known as the Student Physical Privacy Act (SPPA) on January 27, 2016.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Fred Deutsch, is a strong defense of the privacy of all students in restrooms, showers or locker rooms at SD elementary and secondary public schools. The biological sex of a student is defined as their “physical condition of being male or female as determined by a person’s chromosomes and anatomy as identified at birth,” in short, their sex as recorded on their birth certificate.
The bill also compassionately protects the privacy of those students who consider themselves gender confused or uncertain by mandating that schools furnish a ‘reasonable accommodation’, such as a unisex restroom or a single-occupancy restroom.
The Student Physical Privacy Act will now proceed to the South Dakota Senate Education Committee for consideration.
FHA Action strongly supports this bill as a reasonable protection of student privacy while sensitively accommodating the rights of all students with regard to gender issues.