On Thursday the House Education Committee heard testimony for and against a bill protecting students’ privacy in public school locker rooms, showers, restrooms, changing areas and similar facilities.
H.B. 1156 by Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro) requires public schools to designate these facilities exclusively for “male” or “female” use.
The bill contains exceptions allowing public schools to make reasonable accommodations for transgender students — such as letting them use a a single-occupancy restroom or changing area.
In the past federal officials and others have tried to force public schools to let students use whatever locker room or restroom they want regardless of their biological sex. In some cases, this has threatened students’ privacy and physical safety.
However, federal courts have made it clear that schools can designate restrooms and locker rooms as “male” and “female.”
Earlier this month the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that “separating school bathrooms based on biological sex passes constitutional muster and comports with Title IX.”
Family Council has said for years that Arkansas needs to pass legislation that will protect the privacy and safety of children in public school showers, locker rooms, and restrooms.
H.B. 1156 is good, commonsense legislation that will do precisely that.
The House Education Committee heard testimony on the bill Thursday, and Family Council expects the committee to vote on the measure at a later date.