North Dakota Governor Signs Bill Prohibiting Mandating Of Pronouns In Public Schools And Government Orgs

The governor's office said on Monday that Republican Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota has signed a law that forbids public schools and government organizations from mandating teachers and staff to refer to transgender people by the pronouns they use.

A parent or legal guardian must be informed by teachers if a student self-identifies as transgender, according to the new law. It forbids transgender pupils from using the restroom of their choosing without a parent's or guardian's permission first. It takes effect right away, according to the AP.

In a statement, Burgum said the new legislation "largely codifies existing practices while reaffirming the First Amendment right to free speech... balancing the rights and interests of students, parents, and teachers." The Republican state officials, in response, were accused of violating the constitutional rights of pupils and instructors by forcing adults to speak, perhaps putting kids in risk if an abusive parent doesn't agree.

"Mandatory transgender identity outings violate students' right to privacy at school, especially for transgender children who cannot feel comfortable at home. Additionally, treating people with respect and dignity is necessary in order to create a positive working and learning environment. This includes, at the very least, using the name and pronouns that they want to be addressed by. According to Cody Schuler, the American Civil Liberties Union of North Dakota's advocacy manager, these are activities that are both illegal and discriminatory.

Other recent regulations in North Dakota forbid transgender women and girls from participating in female sports teams, from K–12 through college. They punish medical professionals who treat minors in a gender-affirming manner. Additionally, they prevent transgender children and adults from using the restrooms, locker rooms, and showers of their choosing in public places including schools, state-run colleges, and jails.

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