On Monday state Senator Linda Collins-Smith (R-Pocahontas) filed S.B. 774, the Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety Act.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement saying, “This is a good bill that will help ensure all Arkansans are protected and their privacy is respected. Arkansas needs this legislation to help protect children in public school showers, locker rooms, and restrooms. I hope the Arkansas Legislature will support this good bill.”

Cox said the legislation protects the physical privacy of people in showers, restrooms, and locker rooms on government property. “This bill does not affect private businesses like Walmart or Target. It is narrowly tailored to apply to government property, such as public schools, state parks, and government buildings. It simply requires a person using a public shower, locker room, restroom, or similar facility on government property to use the facility that corresponds to the biological sex listed on his or her original birth certificate. It also provides reasonable accommodations for transgender individuals.”

Cox said the legislation is important, because Arkansas law currently does not protect the privacy of students and others on government property. “Every student in Arkansas has a right to privacy and safety. Public school students’ school records are protected by law, because we value students’ privacy. A student’s physical privacy should be just as important. This bill will help protect the privacy of public school students in school locker rooms and restrooms.”

Cox said Family Council plans to support passage of the Arkansas Physical Privacy and Safety Act. “Arkansas has a duty to protect the privacy and safety of its schoolchildren. I believe that’s something our elected officials want to do. That’s what S.B. 774 does. We look forward to working with legislators to pass this good bill into law.”