Supporters applaud the passing of the Arkansas school restroom bill; a transgender student’s parent reacts
Little Rock, Arkansas – Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a contentious bill limiting the use of public school restrooms and locker rooms to the gender assigned at birth, energizing proponents of the proposal while raising concerns among some parents about potential detrimental effects on their children.
The measure, which is based on Conway School District policy, is sponsored in the House by Rep. Mary Bentley and will apply to restrooms and locker rooms at schools with kids in Pre-K through 12th grade. Currently, Arkansas is one of four states with the legislation of this nature.
“Unfortunately, many of our students have suffered sexual abuse,” Bentley said in committee. “Having a member of the opposite sex in their bathroom would be very stressful, at the very least.”
Some well-known conservative organizations, like the National Association of Christian Legislators (NACL), of which Bentley is a member, are applauding the decision.
“It is especially rewarding to see NACL working here in Arkansas helping to provide tools for legislators and school boards who want to empower parents and protect kids,” NACL Director of Law and Policy Bob Ballinger said.
Another rule that would make it illegal for transgender adults to use restrooms that correspond to their gender identity may soon be passed. The father of a transgender student in the Conway School District, Clayton Crockett, said in committee that the policy will be detrimental rather than beneficial.
“This is not Christian,” Crockett said. “This is not caring. This is not loving.”
Crockett claimed that this had a detrimental effect on his daughter’s mental health.
“She has been having so much of a hard time going to school, wanting to go to school because of the gender dysphoria,” Crockett said.
According to Crockett, measures aimed at transgender persons that were passed this session would probably compel his daughter to relocate.
“That’s even more of an encouragement for her to leave and not come back,” Crockett said.