Lawmakers to debate bill banning gender identity instruction in public schools

PIERRE, S.D. — Lawmakers are scheduled to debate a bill this week that would prohibit teaching about gender identity and expression in public schools through seventh grade.

House Bill 1108 is sponsored by Representatives Pischke, Frye-Mueller, Gosch, Greenfield, Livermont, Marty, and Randolph, and Senators Jensen, Blare, and DiSanto.

South Dakota would be the only state in the nation to ban instruction on gender identity and expression.

Republican Sen. Phil Jensen said he sponsored the bill because he’s worried that teaching on the topic may become an issue in the future, and was concerned that it would introduce age-inappropriate topics to children.

Opponents argue that the bill targets transgender and gender non-conforming students. They also say that such instruction is not in the public school curriculum, but if it were, it would help teach children tolerance around the issue and prevent bullying.

HB 1108 will be discussed in a House Education Committee hearing on Wednesday, February 6.


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