Bill to regulate transgender use of school restrooms fails in Se - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Bill to regulate transgender use of school restrooms fails in Senate committee

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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Senate committee today rejected a bill that would have regulated which school bathrooms transgender students can use -- whether it's the gender of which they were born, the gender of which they identify, or some other.

Senate Bill 76, The Kentucky Student Privacy Act, was sponsored by Sen. C.B. Embry of Morgantown.

“This bill deals with privacy, choice and common sense,” Embry told the Senate Education Committee.

It would require transgender students to use the bathroom of their biological sex, or an alternate restroom set aside by the school.

“This bill would assure what, up to very recently, was a completely non-controversial position: that boys should use boys' facilities and girls should use girls' facilities,” said Martin Cothran, policy analyst with the Family Foundation.

The issue came to light last spring when Atherton High School allowed a transgender student who was born male to use the girl's bathroom.

Atherton's principal, Tom Aberli, testified against the bill.

“This is an issue of respecting people for who they are. I'm going to boil it down. It's a civil rights issue,” said Aberli.

Transgender student Henry Brousseau, a junior at Collegiate High School, said alternative bathrooms are not the solution.

“It would actually open me up to more bullying to have to use other restrooms because people see that I'm not living like everybody else, and I have to go to a separate restroom,” said Brousseau.

The Family Foundation's Executive Director Kent Ostrander told lawmakers to consider the rights of non-transgender students.

“We need to be sensitive and caring for all students, but we must also respect the right of privacy,” he said.

The bill needed seven votes to pass. It got six.

“I'm so happy that it failed because if it didn't, it would really open many transgender students up to a lot of discomfort in school,” said Brousseau.

Supporters say this is not the end of the bathroom bill. They plan to tweak it and return next year.

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