Arkansas Protects Students’ Privacy and Safety

LITTLE ROCK, AR – Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed HB1156 last week that protects children prekindergarten through grade 12 in public schools and charter schools by requiring all restrooms, locker rooms, and showers to be used only according to biological sex.

The law requires schools to provide reasonable accommodations that include single-person restrooms and changing areas as well as sleeping quarters for school-sponsored overnight trips for students. A student attending an overnight trip may share sleeping quarters with a member of the opposite sex only if the student of the opposite sex is a member of the child’s immediate family.

School administrators and teachers who violate the law can face fines of at least $1,000, and parents can also file lawsuits to enforce the measure.

The law will not go into effect until 90 days after the current legislative session ends on April 7. However, it will be in place before the 2023-24 school year begins.

Arkansas is now the fourth state to enact a similar “bathroom privacy” bill in public schools. Similar laws are already in place in Alabama, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

These laws not only protect the privacy and safety of students but also discourage children from hiding any gender confusion issues from parents.

At least 168 districts governing 5,904 schools nationwide have policies that prevent faculty and staff from telling parents if their child identifies as a different gender in the classroom. Yet this could become federal policy if the Biden administration’s Title IX proposals directing how federally funded schools and colleges handle sex and gender discrimination are approved in May.

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “We commend Governor Sanders and the Arkansas legislators for taking a stand against the harmful gender ideology being pushed at children in public and charter schools. Allowing boys to use private facilities for girls violates the right to privacy and places girls at risk of sexual abuse.”

SOURCE Liberty Counsel