Senate Bill 615, requires students in public schools and public charter schools to use the restrooms and changing rooms designated for the gender on their original birth certificate.
It applies to students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Anyone who does not wish to comply would have to use a single-occupancy restroom or changing room.The penalty for schools and districts that violate the law would be a 5 percent reduction in state funding. ‘That could subtract thousands to millions of dollars, depending on the school system,” The Oklahoman reports.
Parents could also sue over violations. The legislation contains an emergency provision that makes it take effect immediately.“Governor Stitt believes girls should use girl restrooms and boys should use boy restrooms,” Carly Atchison, a spokesperson for Stitt, said in a statement.The bill was proposed partly in reaction to a policy adopted six years ago by the school system in Stillwater, Okla.
The district has allowed students to use the restrooms that comport with their gender identity, and “no incidents of misbehavior were reported as a result of the policy,” The Oklahoman reports.But Oklahoma Secretary of Education Ryan Walters has strongly criticized the policy, calling it part of a “woke agenda.” He wrote a letter to Stillwater school officials saying that it would make “our young girls uncomfortable and afraid” to use school restrooms.