S.C. Bill Would Restrict Transgender Pupils' Restroom Choices

According to a new rule added to the state budget, students in public schools would have to use restrooms that correspond to the gender they were assigned at birth.

This means that transgender students in South Carolina would have to use showers or changing rooms based on their biological sex. It is still not clear if it will stay the same because the House and Senate need to resolve their differences.

“This is just a repeat of the same thing; it’s another method for the freedom caucus to bother the LGBTQ community, especially transgender students,” said Ann Willbrand, board secretary for SC Equality.

The Student Physical Privacy Amendment would make it necessary for schools that get money from the state to make sure that public school bathrooms and other areas are only used by one gender.

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Senator Wes Climer, a Republican from York County, introduced the proviso because he believes it will correct a problem he has observed throughout the state. He is worried about something that is happening in his district at Rock Hill High School.

“This is to fix a problem in the Rock Hill School District. There is an 18-year-old man using bathrooms and locker rooms with 14, 15, and 16-year-old girls. But more importantly, we want to solve this problem for the whole state,” said Climer.

Senator Tamieka Devine, a Democrat from Richland, believes that this legislation will lead to a reduction in resources for transgender students. She is concerned that if this condition is included in the final budget, it will affect the mental well-being of many people.

“It prevents schools from working with young people,” Devine said. “It puts school funding at risk and I believe that school districts and teachers will face many problems with children feeling uncomfortable and possibly being bullied.” The proviso will become effective on July 1, 2024, if it remains in the final version of the budget.

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