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Florida to Enforce Transgender Bathroom Ban Even at Private Schools

Florida to Enforce Transgender Bathroom Ban Even at Private Schools

Ron DeSantis whose appointees approved the trans bathroom ban
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Though the original law was written for public schools, the Florida Department of Education approved a new rule expanding it to private schools.

Even private schools in Florida will now have to segregate bathrooms, following a decision by appointees of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

The Florida Department of Education approved a new rule imposing regulations on bathrooms and changing facilities at private post-secondary educational institutions. The move requires private schools to follow the same regulations as public schools under a law signed by DeSantis earlier this year that requires schools to provide separate male and female bathrooms and locker rooms and enforce use based on gender assigned at birth.

That law specifically was written to only impact publicly owned facilities, but the Board of Education rules it also covers all schools, including private schools, colleges and universities. It also specifically left it to authorities in charge of those facilities to enforce the law.

Anti-LGBTQ group Moms For Liberty spoke in favor of the Board of Education imposing the rule even at private schools.

“The designation of restrooms and changing facilities in a private post-secondary educational facility, as determined at birth by biological sex isn't about discrimination," said Yvette Benarroach, chair of the Collier County Moms For Liberty chapter, according to WFSU Public Media. "It's about safety and clarity. It provides a clear framework for institutions to follow, alleviating confusion for both students and staff.”

The rule calls for schools to provide a single unisex bathroom. But critics say that’s not enough.

“What it actually does right now in the public schools at least is the unisex restroom is the teacher's restroom. So we have a situation whereby all the non-binary and transgender and the teachers all line up for this unisex bathroom," testified Emma Roy, speaking against the regulation.

The Florida Phoenix reports the rule will be part of a Private School Annual Survey that schools must submit each year to ensure compliance.

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