August 11, 2023
SB 150 recommends that schools use incorrect pronouns, limit sex education, and prohibit gender-positive care for trans minors. “They are actively targeting us.”
When Kentucky Senate Bill 150 was introduced in February, the American Medical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Human Rights Commission and 71 percent Kentucky resident. The bill would ban gender-affirming care for trans minors, require the use of toilets appropriate to their birth sex, encourage teachers to use incorrect pronouns, and promote “human sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases.” , which restricts education on
It still passed the House and Senate. Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear vetoed the bill, claiming it would “deprive parents of their liberty” and “endanger Kentucky’s children,” but his veto was overturned. The bill was finally passed by him on March 29th. Kentucky American Civil Liberties Union It announced that it plans to file a lawsuit against “one of the worst anti-trans bills in the country.”
“The number of LGBTQ children in schools will not change even with the restrictions proposed by SB 150,” psychologist Laurie Grimes told lawmakers. “They will still be there and they will have needs, but they will no longer be in a safe and accepting environment.” gave an opinion. “I’m going to kill the children,” Hartman said. “Their blood will be on your hands.”
When SB 150 was first introduced, the bill’s primary purpose was to force teachers to use pronouns associated with the biological sex of trans students, rather than the ones preferred by trans students. Six amendments were submitted aimed at excluding trans students by changing teachers or allowing parents to require teachers to use pronouns of their choice. All were out of order. The bill was eventually merged by the House Education Committee with House Bill 470, called the “Do No Harm Act.”
Most of the bill is devoted to provisions that prevent trans students from living comfortably in their daily lives, banning trans students from using preferred restrooms and locker rooms, and encouraging the use of incorrect pronouns and names. ing. “People are really feeling what it means, not just the actual, written effect of this law,” said Oliver Hall, transhealth director of the Kentucky Health Justice Network. said. “What does it mean to be a transgender person in Kentucky now that Kentucky is actively targeting us?”
Article 4 of the bill, which eliminates access to gender-affirming care for trans minors, was originally scheduled to take effect on June 29, but was temporarily suspended on the same day due to an ACLU injunction. blocked and lifted in July. The rest of the bill will go into effect when the new school year begins. “This is the most devastating bill I’ve ever seen in my life,” said Willie Carver, a former high school teacher from Kentucky.
Schools should be safe places for students. According to Carver, young people should understand that they matter and that they can realize their wildest dreams. However, young transgender children often face bullying and removal from classroom content. Studies show that transgender people statistically more likely to be diagnosed with a mental illness than the general population, 6 times There is a high chance that you will attempt suicide.
Carver said that actively removing a student’s identity from the curriculum is itself an act of violence, and the law takes it by leaps and bounds. Some children at the Louisville Youth Group, a nonprofit that serves LGBTQ youth in Kentucky and Indiana, will have to de-transition, according to LYG program director Em Joy. It’s a process we call “exponentially harmful”. “Despite strong opposition from all major medical and mental health groups, the new law allows parents, health care professionals, teachers and clergy to work together to provide support to transgender youth in a loving and personal way. ,” LYG said in a statement. statement in june.
The bill boasts protections for parental rights, but parents of trans students are reeling. “Our goal as parents is to support our children and give them the opportunity to grow and find themselves,” said Amanda Wilson. Her child, June Wagner, is transgender and nonbinary. “It hurt me because I knew it would hurt my child.”
She believes the government should not have a say in how parents protect their children. Such laws only target children who end up being bullied or ostracized, she said. “I don’t see the perspective of how this bill will protect other children,” Wilson said. “I think the lack of a community as understanding and supportive for all genders and all people makes things worse.”
Wagner, a senior in high school, said he was “shocked” to see the bill succeed. With the bill, the government would approve transphobic bullying, they said. “Suddenly, everything is legal,” Wagner said. “Suddenly your own lawmakers are bullying you and threatening to take away your own medical rights and even your school life. It’s just shocking.”
James and Rebecca Simpson, who have a transgender son, do not see the bill as a safeguard. Rather, they believe that the government is stripping them of their parental rights. James also said the bill would tell transgender children that they can’t trust adults in their room and should hide. He had witnessed the change in his son after he came out to them, but could not understand how denying a son it could be seen as protection. “They just become themselves when they have the space for it,” James said. “It’s so upsetting to be vilified like this. How cruel people are when people just want to be themselves.”
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The bill also limits sex education, banning education before fifth grade and banning parents from “opting in” from grades six through 12. This is a move widely opposed by educators and advocates. In general, according to the National Sexual Education Standards of the American Council on Sexual Information Education, sex education in elementary school is divided into two sections: kindergarten through second grade and third through fifth grade. Emphasis is placed on learning about one’s own body, identifying unhealthy and abusive relationships, understanding gender identity, and upper grades are beginning to receive information about puberty.
However, “opt-in” sex education requires parents to actively approve their child’s participation. This makes targeted content appear more dangerous and offensive, limiting the program’s usefulness, according to Valerie Sedibee, director of development and assessment at Healthy Teen Network. Perhaps the parents of children who need this education most will disagree, she says.
Sider Barrett, deputy director for federal policy at the American Council on Sex Education, said sex education provides mental, physical and social benefits for children. Children are taught how to say no, understand past gender stereotypes, and name their body structures without shame or prejudice. Barrett said it’s empowering, without which children are vulnerable. the study Studies show that students who receive comprehensive sex education are more likely to delay sexual initiation, have fewer sexual partners, and use more condoms and contraceptives. Also, reduce Gender-Based Violence and Sexual Violence.
After the bill was introduced, some senators expressed concern that revealing a child’s chosen pronouns or expressed sexuality could expose them to abuse and other forms of harm. Senator Max Wise, who drafted the bill, said it was the state’s job to define “fundamental freedoms.” Local school districts can independently decide whether to require schools to tell all parents everything, even if it could lead to abuse. Jonathan Zimmerman, professor of history of education at the University of Pennsylvania, called it the “language of local control” that is becoming a topic of federal government discussion.
Kentucky isn’t the only state to pass such a bill, nor is it even close. Gender-affirming care is restricted in at least 18 states, and legislation is being considered or proposed in another 14 states. Recent HB 1069 in Florida Expanding It builds on last year’s Don’t Say You’re Gay Act and now, like SB 150, prohibits teaching human sexuality, sexually transmitted diseases, and related subjects by sixth grade.in Indiana, parents must obtain written consent to change a student’s name or pronouns, and teachers are prohibited from discussing sexual orientation and gender identity until third grade.in Oklahomasexual orientation and gender identity instruction is prohibited until the fifth grade, and “opt-in” adolescent education occurs in the fourth and fifth grades.
These bills not only ban the conduct, they also ban the discussion of the conduct. “If I were a schoolteacher in this country right now, I would be very worried,” Zimmermann said. Laws restricting educator speech have become increasingly vague, making it easier for many to avoid controversial subjects altogether. Laws banning mention of these issues seek to silence discussion and discussion.
But the conversation is just beginning. ACLU president Angela Cooper said the group expects to file more lawsuits as the new school year begins. School districts face difficult choices, and whether they follow the law or not, legal battles can erupt, and while decisions are being made, Louisville Youth Groups and Lobbyists for LGBTQ activist groups in Kentucky, such as Fairness, campaigned to protest outside a school board meeting. Still, it’s unclear how this year will treat Kentucky students.
“Transgender people belong to Kentucky,” the ACLU writes, “and we stand by their rights to equal protection under the law, and full rights, as country and country guarantee. We will continue to fight for the freedom to access what we need to live authentically in our state constitution. ”