The Arkansas Department of Education is accepting public comments on newly proposed rules protecting the physical privacy of public school students.

Last year Gov. Sanders signed Act 317 by Rep. Mary Bentley (R – Perryville) and Sen. Dan Sullivan (R – Jonesboro) protecting privacy in public school locker rooms, showers, restrooms, changing areas, and similar facilities.

The law requires public schools to designate these facilities for “male” or “female” use.

It also addresses sleeping accommodations for students on overnight school trips — something that has been a serious problem for students in other states.

The Department of Education’s new rules would act as executive policies to help ensure Arkansas’ public schools are properly following Act 317.

Every student has a right to physical privacy and safety at school and on school-sponsored trips.

Public school students’ school records are protected by law, because we value student privacy. A student’s physical privacy should be just as important.

Act 317 helps protect the physical privacy of public school students in school showers, locker rooms, restrooms, and similar facilities on campus, and it helps protect physical privacy and safety on overnight trips.

Family Council was pleased to support Act 317. We are grateful to the General Assembly for passing Act 317 and to the Arkansas Department of Education for promulgating rules to implement it.

Family Council’s team is reviewing the proposed rules, and we intend to offer public comments on them later this month.

You Can Read a Copy of the Proposed Rules Here.