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GLSEN on SD Governor Veto of HB 1008
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN Applauds South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard for Protecting Transgender Students By Vetoing Harmful HB 1008
NEW YORK (March 1, 2016) – GLSEN’s Director of Public Policy, Nathan Smith, today applauded South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard for preventing a discriminatory bill from becoming law by vetoing HB 1008. The bill would have required transgender and gender nonconforming students to use the restroom and locker rooms that correspond with their gender assigned at birth, even if that conflicts with their gender identity. The bill would have also restricted the ability of schools to work with students to devise solutions that best serve them.
“GLSEN is relieved that the dangerous actions of the South Dakota legislature in passing HB 1008 have been halted by Gov. Daugaard’s veto. We applaud Gov. Daugaard for his leadership in protecting all of South Dakota’s students and not placing unnecessary legal burdens on the state’s school districts.
“We hope this sends a message and serves as an example to other state and local policymakers that all students, including transgender and gender nonconforming students, should have access to safe and affirming schools. GLSEN calls on all policymakers to best serve their students and educators by supporting LGBT-inclusive nondiscrimination and anti-bullying and harassment laws. GLSEN is ready to work with policymakers, school administrators, educators and students to help create school climates where all students can thrive.”
The latest edition of GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey found that transgender students were more likely to avoid gender-segregated spaces at schools, such as bathrooms and locker rooms, because of feeling unsafe or uncomfortable. Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students who experienced discrimination and bullying and harassment at school were more than three times as likely to have missed school in the past month as those who did not, had lower GPAs than their peers, and had lower self-esteem and higher levels of depression. GLSEN has created model laws and policies for schools, districts and states to ensure LGBT students are safe and affirmed at school, including a model district policy for accommodating transgender and gender nonconforming students that complies with Title IX.
GLSEN is the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. GLSEN envisions a world in which every child learns to respect and accept all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes to creating a more vibrant and diverse community. For information on GLSEN's research, educational resources, public policy advocacy, student organizing programs and educator training initiatives, visit www.glsen.org.