Statement on SB46 in South Dakota

February 4, 2022

Statement on SB46 in South Dakota, by Melanie Willingham-Jaggers (they/she), GLSEN Executive Director

“Every student in South Dakota deserves to have the same educational opportunities, including being an athlete and being a part of a school sports team. Opponents of LGBTQ+ equality are hiding behind SB 46 as part of their politically-motivated attack on the equal rights of trans students. GLSEN strongly condemns Governor Kristi Noem for signing this discriminatory and dangerous bill into law."

“Young people learn life-long lessons from playing sports with their peers, including teamwork, sportsmanship, self-discipline, and how to be a leader. Participating in sports also creates positive psychological benefits for students, like decreased depressive symptoms and suicidality and higher self-esteem and sense of belonging at school. Trans and nonbinary students want to play sports for the same reason as all student athletes: to be a part of a team where they feel like they belong. SB 46 takes away their chance to take part in the critically formative educational opportunity to play sports with their peers."

“All students in South Dakota deserve to be a part of K-12 learning communities that allow them to thrive and reach their full potential and that includes students who are trans and nonbinary. Trans students, binary and nonbinary, should have the same access to athletic participation as their classmates. We will continue to devote our support and resources to the trans youth in South Dakota and across the country who are leading the fight against these kinds of targeted political attacks.”