(FamilyConservationPAC.com) – Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a law on Tuesday forbidding transgender people attending public schools from using the restroom corresponding to their gender identity.
As a result of the measure that the Republican governor signed, Arkansas became the fourth state to impose similar limitations on public schools; proposals in Idaho and Iowa are currently awaiting their governors’ signatures.
It may be followed by a more stringent Arkansas law that makes it illegal for transgender adults to use public restrooms that correspond to their gender identity.
The rule in Arkansas, which won’t go into effect until later this summer, covers locker rooms and multi-person facilities at public and charter schools that serve students in pre-kindergarten through grade 12.
This Monday, the law received final approval from the majority-Republican Legislature.
According to a statement from Sanders’ spokesman Alexa Henning, “the Governor has said she will sign laws that focus on protecting and educating our kids, not indoctrinating them, and believes our schools are no place for the radical left’s awakened agenda.” “Arkansas won’t change the laws of biology just to appease a small group of far-left activists.”
Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have passed laws of a similar nature, while lawsuits have been brought against the restrictions in Oklahoma and Tennessee.
This year, six years after North Carolina’s bathroom law was repealed and after sizable protests and boycotts, proposals to limit transgender people from using the restroom of their choosing have seen a revival.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, over a dozen restroom legislation have been filed in 17 states.
According to Paul Castillo, senior counsel and students’ rights strategist for Lambda Legal, “they’re singling out transgender kids for no other reason than hatred, rejection, and misunderstanding of who transgender youth are.
“And the entire student population suffers as a result of these types of bills,” the author continued, “especially schools, teachers, and administrators who are coping with real issues and need to concentrate on fostering a welcoming atmosphere for every student.”
The proposals are among a record number of measures that have been submitted to limit the rights of transgender individuals by prohibiting drag shows, barring transgender girls from participating in school sports and restricting or outlawing gender-affirming care for minors.
Also, state legislatures have used increasingly disparaging language toward transgender people.
Arkansas is considering a bill that goes beyond the statute in North Carolina by adding criminal penalties. If someone uses a public restroom or changes the area of the opposite sex when a youngster is present, they could be prosecuted for misdemeanor sexual indecency with a child.
According to Holly Dickson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arkansas, “it’s a brazen statement from them that they refuse to respect (transgender people’s) rights and humanity, to respect Arkansans’ rights and humanity.”
The latest Arkansas law mandates that colleges and universities offer appropriate accommodations, such as single-person restrooms.
A state panel may impose fines of at least $1,000 on principals, superintendents, and teachers who break the rule. Parents may also bring private lawsuits to enforce the law.
The bill’s sponsor, Republican Rep. Mary Bentley, told lawmakers earlier this year that every student in our schools has a right to privacy, to feel safe, and to feel at ease in the restroom they need to use.
Nevertheless, Clayton Crockett, the parent of a transgender child, explained to lawmakers earlier this year how his daughter felt even more alienated due to a similar policy implemented at her school.
“She feels targeted, she feels discriminated against, she feels bullied, she feels picked out,” Crockett said at a House subcommittee hearing on the bill in January.
The legislation’s detractors have also argued that it doesn’t subsidize schools that might need to construct single-person restrooms to make appropriate accommodations.
Students who identify as transgender are allowed to use the restroom that corresponds to that gender, according to at least two federal appeals courts.
But, proponents of the plan cited a federal appeals court decision last year that upheld a similar policy in a Florida school district.
The Arkansas law won’t go into effect until 90 days after the Legislature’s current session ends, which isn’t likely to happen until at least next month.
A week after endorsing legislation that made it simpler to sue organizations that offer gender-affirming care to adolescents, Sanders signed the law.
The measure’s goal, which won’t go into effect until this summer, is to reinstall the federal judge-blocked ban on providing such care for minors.
A comprehensive education law that forbids classroom instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation until the fifth grade was also signed by Sanders earlier this month.
The prohibition is comparable to a Florida statute that has drawn criticism as the “Don’t Speak Gay” rule.
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