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OKLAHOMA CITY – Senate Bill 615 was signed into law Wednesday, requiring restrooms or changing rooms in Oklahoma public schools to be designated exclusively based on biological sex. Sen. David Bullard, R-Durant, a strong proponent against school indoctrination of Oklahoma’s students, said his legislation will further protect their rights when it comes to having privacy in school bathrooms.
“I’m proud of the Legislature and governor for joining me in approving this common-sense legislation requiring all individuals to use the restrooms and changing rooms that line up with their biological sex,” Bullard said. “We must not allow the shrills of the far left to replace facts of biological science and irrefutable evidence. As John Adams said, ‘Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence.’ The fact is there are only two sexes, male and female. Our kids deserve and demand privacy and protection; and in Oklahoma, they will now get it.”
SB 615 requires each public school and public charter school that serves students in pre-K through 12th grade to require every multiple occupancy restroom or changing room to be designated for the exclusive use of the male or female sex. It defines “sex” as the physical condition of being male or female based on genetics and physiology, as identified on an individual’s original birth certificate. It requires each school to provide a reasonable accommodation - a single-occupancy restroom or changing area - to anyone who does not wish to comply with the requirement.
“Each individual state oversees education as reserved by the 10th Amendment and our nation’s Constitution. We are responsible for protecting the freedom of all students, not just a few,” Bullard said. “How far have we slipped in our society when we are willing to fail our kids by coercing them into living in someone else’s fantasy. I am dedicated to removing all forms of indoctrination, including this one.”
The new law requires school district boards of education and public charter school governing boards to adopt a policy to provide disciplinary action for districts that refuse to comply. Any school district or charter school found not in compliance with the new law by the State Board of Education will have their state funding reduced by five percent the following fiscal year. The bill also provides a cause of action for parents and legal guardians of students enrolled in and physically attending a school district or charter school. Exceptions are provided for individuals to enter a restroom or changing area designated for the opposite sex for custodial, maintenance, inspection purposes or to render emergency medical assistance.
Rep. Danny Williams, R-Seminole, was the principal House author of the bill.
“Oklahomans across the state were concerned about the privacy of their children as a result of a lack of standard bathroom policies in each of our public schools," Williams said. "After numerous discussions, it became clear that legislative action was needed to clarify state statute. I appreciate everyone's work to pass Senate Bill 615 into law so we can protect each of our students."
Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, co-authored the measure and filed the friendly amendment clarifying the bathroom school policies.
“The goal of this legislation is to make sure that our students are properly protected from situations that could cause them harm," West said. "I am concerned with protecting the safety, privacy and dignity of all children. My colleagues and I hear every day from parents who are concerned about school policies that affect their children. This gives teachers and administrators clear guidance on this issue and leaves the broader conversation of sexual or gender identity between a parent and their child, where it should be."
SB 615 became law upon being signed by the governor.
Sen. Bullard: (405) 521-5586 or David.Bullard@oksenate.gov