June July 2016
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Kentucky Lawmaker: Fine Schools $2,500 Every Time a Trans Student Uses 'Wrong' Bathroom

Kentucky Lawmaker: Fine Schools $2,500 Every Time a Trans Student Uses 'Wrong' Bathroom

A Kentucky legislator has proposed a bill that would not only ban transgender students from using the bathroom that accords with their gender identity, but would require schools to recompense cisgender students $2,500 each time they told officials they'd shared a bathroom with a trans schoolmate, reports Patheos.

Republican state senator C.B. Embry Jr., introduced the Kentucky Student Privacy Act (SB 76) last week. The bill proposes dividing school bathrooms and locker rooms according to "biological sex," which is determined by an individual's chromosomes and the gender assigned to them at birth.

Moreover, Embry argued, cisgender students sharing a bathroom with a trans student would experience "psychological, emotional, and physical harm" that opened schools to legal action unless they were explicit about their "biological sex" segregation. The bill would require that trans students who needed alternate accomodations seek out single-stall restrooms, unisex bathrooms, or "controlled access" to faculty bathrooms.

As more trans students have spoken up for their needs for inclusive restrooms, evidence has mounted that the greater risk of "harm" in restrooms is to trans students themselves. As the National Center for Transgender Equality has pointed out, restricting trans students to bathrooms based on "biological sex" puts such youth at risk for increased harassment and stigmitization. Providing a faculty or single-stall bathroom as an alternative singles trans students out and over time may, notes the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, increase a trans student's likelihood of disengaging from school or dropping out altogether.

With such evidence mounting, the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has increasingly found that refusing trans students access to their gender's facilities is an instance of "sex discimination." In December 2014, the DOE announced that gender identity is preotected under Title IX of the Civil Rights Amendment of 1972.

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