South Dakota Considers Banning Gender Identity Lessons in Public Schools

The state of South Dakota is considering banning teaching on gender identity, with legislation pending that would prohibit such content from public elementary and middle school curriculum.

According to the Associated Press, the bill’s sponsor, Republican state senator Phil Jensen from Rapid City, said he has constituents concerned it might become an issue in schools. The senator says students are failing to master the basics and expressed concern about teaching children topics that are not age-appropriate.

“I think we need to be focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic,” Jensen said.

Education Department spokeswoman Mary Stadick Smith told AP in an email that the she is not aware of gender identity being taught in schools.

The bill, SB 160, reads simply: “No instruction in gender identity or gender expression may be provided to any student in kindergarten through grade seven in any public school in the state.”

Though the Midwestern state legislature is overwhelmingly Republican, the bill is not guaranteed to pass. Gov. Dennis Daugaard, also a Republican, recently said that he doesn’t “know that our standards of education are properly the subject of legislative enactments.”

In 2016, Daugaard refused to back legislation requiring transgender students to use bathroom facilities that correspond with their biological sex.

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Source: Christian Post