A House Bill Dealing With Transgender Students And School Bathrooms Creates Controversy

A petition was created asking legislators to vote "no" on H.B 1008

A house bill dealing with transgender students and what bathrooms they should use has prompted one student to create a petition against it. 

District 4 Representative Fred Deutsch recently introduced House Bill 1008 to solve what he calls a challenging social problem. 

“The bill is very simple,” says Deutsch. “It requires boys to use boys facilities and girls to use girls facilities. If a student is confused as far as gender goes, then it requires schools to do something very simple; to make special accommodations for these students.” 

Deutsch says those accommodations could be a single stall restroom or a staff restroom.

He says this would provide privacy for all students. 

“I don’t want anatomical boys to shower with anatomical girls,” says Deutsch. “I’ve got 4 girls, and I think to force South Dakota young ladies to shower with people with boy anatomy is not appropriate.” 

This didn’t resonate with everyone.

One freshman at Tech High thinks this will single out the transgender community.

He created a petition against H.B. 1008 saying he has never felt that his privacy was being intruded when sharing the bathroom with his transgender friends.

The petition, that was created 5 days ago, already has more than 3,000 supporters. 

“I think a transgender person should be able to go where they feel comfortable,” says Sioux Falls resident Brandon Hess. “I feel it’s hard to be on that side. I wouldn’t understand how that would feel so making sure we’re empathetic to them, making sure they feel comfortable going to the bathroom of their choice is important.” 

“Why is it a big deal to go to the bathroom?” says Abby Kustak of Sioux Falls. 

“Hopefully with the generation that we’re raising now, everybody learns to appreciate one another for who they are, and just accept that,” says Casey Kustak. 

The bill is scheduled for a House State Affairs Committee hearing on Monday at 8:30 a.m. in the state capitol.

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