OAN Roy Francis
UPDATED 9:19 AM – Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Arkansas has become the fourth state in the country to ban students at public school from using the bathroom, or locker room of their choice.
Governor Sarah Huckabee (R-Ark.) signed a bill which applies to multi person restrooms and locker rooms in public, and charter schools from kindergarten, through the 12th grade.
The new law prohibits transgender people from using the restroom that uses their gender identity at public schools. However, it also requires schools to provide reasonable accommodations to transgender students, which include private single person restrooms.
“The Governor has said she will sign laws that focus on protecting and educating our kids, not indoctrinating them and believes our schools are no place for the radical left’s woke agenda,” Alexa Henning, Sanders’ spokesperson, told The Associated Press. “Arkansas isn’t going to rewrite the rules of biology just to please a handful of far-left advocates.”
According to the new law, those in violation, including superintendents, school administrators, and teachers, can be fined a minimum of $1,000. The law also states that parents will be able to file lawsuits If the new law is not enforced at their children’s schools.
Representative Mary Bentley (R-Ark.), had sponsored the bill, and previously stated the importance of the safety, and privacy of the students in public schools.
“Each child in our schools has a right to privacy and to feel safe and to feel comfortable in the bathroom they need to go to,” she said.
Similar laws have recently been enacted in Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. However, lawsuits in Oklahoma and Tennessee have been filed challenging the restrictions in those states.
Similar proposals have been on the rise in 2023, with more than two dozen bills being filed in 17 different states.
Opponents of the new measure claim that it does not provide school with the funds that are needed to provide those accommodations. Clayton Crockett, a father of a transgender child, said that a similar policy at his daughter’s school further marginalized her.
“She feels targeted, she feels discriminated against, she feels bullied, she feels singled out,” Crockett said in January.
The signing of the new bill comes a week after Sanders approved legislation which would make it easier to sue medical professionals who provide gender-affirming care to minors.
She had also previously enacted a law that prohibits classroom instruction on the subjects of gender identity and sexual orientation before the fifth grade.
The new law will not go into effect until 90 days after the current legislation session ends on April 7th. Although it will be set in place before the new school year (2023-2024) begins.
Stay informed! Receive breaking news directly to your inbox for free. Subscribe here. https://www.oann.com/alerts