Tuesday, May 03, 2022

Rep. Kevin West passes measure clarifying school restroom policies

Rep. Kevin West Passes Measure Clarifying School Restroom Policies

OKLAHOMA CITY (April 28th) – A bill requiring that public school restrooms be used by an individual according to their biological sex at birth passed the House today. The bill also allows for single-use restrooms that can be used by any student.

Rep. Kevin West, R-Moore, is the House author of the third amendment to Senate Bill 615, which changes the bill to address public school restroom policies. Amended language is loosely based on a similar measure that passed in Alabama. It relies on biological sex as determined at birth and listed on a student's birth certificate. Under the law, schools shall designate restrooms and changing facilities intended to accommodate multiple individuals as "for the exclusive use of the male sex or the female sex." The measure does contain language to allow accommodations for "single-use" restrooms.

"This is common-sense legislation that gives our public school districts clear guidance on bathroom policies," West said. "We currently have a school district in our state that has asked for clarity on this issue, and we have parents that want to protect their children. The state attorney general has said it is up to the Legislature to pass a law making it clear that school restrooms should be designated based on biological sex for privacy and safety purposes."

A second amendment to the amendment replaces the existing Section 1 language in the bill with simplified language to ensure that parents are notified of any sexual orientation and/or gender identity instruction as well as any supplementary materials related to such instruction provided to students by any person at a school. It also gives parents or guardians the right to exempt their child(ren) from such instruction.

Senate Bill 615 passed the House on a vote of 75-10. It now returns to the Senate for final passage.

Kevin West serves District 54 in the Oklahoma House of Representatives. His district includes part of Moore in Cleveland and Oklahoma counties.


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