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GLSEN Calls on SD Gov. to Veto HB 1008
Media Relations Manager
GLSEN Calls on South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard to Veto Harmful HB 1008
NEW YORK (February 17, 2015) – GLSEN is calling on South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard to veto HB 1008 in order to prevent the discriminatory bill from becoming law. The bill would require transgender and gender nonconforming students to use the restroom and locker rooms that correspond with their sex assigned at birth instead of their gender identity and would restrict the ability of schools to work with students to devise solutions that best serve them. GLSEN’s Director of Public Policy, Nathan Smith, said:
“By passing this bill, the South Dakota legislature has endorsed endangering the safety and well-being of transgender and gender nonconforming students – already disproportionately the victims of discrimination, harassment and bullying in our schools. We call on Gov. Daugaard to stand in support of the students of South Dakota and veto this bill.
“In addition to setting the wrong kind of precedent, HB 1008 puts South Dakota in violation of Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination in schools on the basis of sex and gender identity. The bill also places the financial burden of any legal actions that result squarely on the already-tight budgets of individual school districts across the state. Our schools need to be supported in their efforts to create positive climates for all students, not left dealing with the fallout of the discriminatory actions of the legislature. Gov. Daugaard can do right by his educators by vetoing this bill.”
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 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 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.