State Considers Banning Schools From Teaching About Gender Identity

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A South Dakota Republican lawmaker proposed a bill calling for a ban on teaching gender identity in public schools, drawing the ire of various gay and transgender organizations.

South Dakota state Sen. Phil Jensen introduced the bill amid concerns he has about the possibilty of young children being taught gender identity, something he feels they can’t fully grasp at such a young age, reports the Associated Press.

Jensen said some of his constituents had approached him with worries about the gender identity as a school subject matter in public schools.

“I think we need to be focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic,” Jensen said.

The public policy director at GLSEN said the bill reminded him of “no promo homo laws,” which have been “bad broadly” for gay and transgender students.

“It’s maybe a little different in the way that it’s crafted and maybe a little different in the way, sort of the population that it targets, but the underlying concerns are the same for us as they would be in … a traditional ‘no-promo-homo’ law,” Smith said. “We think that it’s bad broadly for LGBTQ students in South Dakota.”


Other schools are taking a different approach to the issue of gender identity, choosing to talk about it with young students. A California teacher came under fire in August for trying to explain gender identity to a group of kindergartners, infuriating many parents.

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