2 Utah School Districts Were Investigated for Alleged Bathroom Bill Breaches

Utah State Auditor John Dougall announced on Wednesday that his office has looked into four complaints that were made in good faith regarding the state’s new transgender bathroom law. These complaints were about alleged violations at two school districts, a county, and a state-run recreation center. The auditor had to go through many false tips before finding these legitimate complaints.

Dougall, who has called himself the state’s “bathroom monitor” multiple times, openly expressed his frustrations over HB 257. He mentioned that reviews were conducted on Provo School District, Alpine School District, Duchesne County, and the North Sevier Recreation Center.

“We couldn’t find evidence to support the claims in any of the four complaints, but we did find two separate problems,” Dougall said in a statement.

The two issues involved Duchesne County and Provo School District. Both of them have not yet adopted a plan that follows the requirements of HB 257, also known as “Sex-based Designations for Privacy, Anti-Bullying, and Women’s Opportunities.” Both the government entities were given 30 days to create a compliance plan, as mandated by the law.

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The auditor’s office sent letters to each of the organizations that were reviewed. However, these letters do not mention what caused any of the complaints. Similarly, Dougall’s statement on Wednesday did not provide any specific information about the alleged violations.

Last month, Dougall’s office announced that it was investigating five complaints related to HB 257. One of those is currently being reviewed. Utah’s bathroom law tipline has been active for a month now. It has received over 12,000 false complaints from transgender activists and other people who are unhappy with the law. The law was passed by the legislature earlier this year.

Dougall, a Republican who is not running for re-election but is instead running for Utah’s 3rd Congressional District seat, has publicly criticized Utah lawmakers for allegedly quickly passing the bill without fully understanding how it works.

HB 257 prevents transgender individuals from using state-operated bathrooms and changing rooms that do not match the sex they were assigned at birth, unless they have surgery and update their birth certificate. The bill also requires government entities to include restrooms for one person at a time in new buildings.

The state auditor’s office is responsible for investigating government entities that do not follow the law. Dougall has been emphasizing for the past few weeks that his office does not investigate people and their alleged actions in the bathroom.

Supporters of the bill argue that it will provide protection for women and children in private spaces. However, critics argue that this law unfairly focuses on transgender individuals and could lead to a situation where they are bullied or harassed, taking advantage of the law’s protection.

HB 257 does not impose any penalties for individuals who use state-run bathrooms that do not match their assigned sex at birth. However, if government entities are found to not be following the rules, they may have to pay fines.

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