Kansas lawmakers move to block accommodations for transgender students
Topeka ? Transgender students at Kansas public schools and colleges would be required to use restrooms, showers and locker rooms for their sex at birth under two bills introduced in the Legislature.
Separate but identical measures were introduced Wednesday in the House by its Federal and State Affairs Committee and in the Senate by the Ways and Means Committee.
Both say schools and colleges must limit such facilities to use by a single gender and say sex is “determined by a person’s chromosomes.” Both bills declare that they’re enacting “student physical privacy” protections and that allowing students to use facilities for the opposite sex could cause “embarrassment, shame and psychological injury.”
The measures would allow parents to request special accommodations such as unisex bathrooms, but in no case could a parent seek access to facilities for “the opposite sex.”
House committee Chairwoman Jan Pauls, a Hutchinson Republican, said no one has sought a hearing on her panel’s measure and it’s most likely intended to raise the issue with the public.
“It’s a serious privacy concern for parents as well as students,” Pauls said. “We still keep male coaches out of women’s locker rooms.”
Tom Witt, executive director of Equality Kansas, said passing such legislation would force transgender girls being to use boys’ facilities, and transgender boys to use girls’ facilities.
“All this is going to do is single out and isolate trans kids in high school and it’s going to make them vulnerable to attack, bullying, injury or possibly worse,” Witt said.