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February21

Gender dysphoria instruction bill dumped by comm.

The conversation on gender dysphoria instruction is done, for now.

 

Senate State Affairs voted 7-2 to defeat House Bill 1108, which prohibits gender dysphoria instruction in public schools.

 

Rep. Tom Pischke, the bill’s prime sponsor, called HB 1108 “a simple bill” that “ensures our South Dakota public schools are not teaching, instructing or confusing” students.

 

Rep. Pischke previously told member of the House Education committee that “I can’t point to anything specifically in South Dakota” in regards to instruction of gender dysphoria occurring in classrooms, but on the Senate side claimed “constituents” had “confirmed the practice was occurring in schools, specifically pointing to a program in Rapid City that was teaching “diversity and inclusion.”

 

SASD Executive Director Rob Monson refuted the claims and presented the committee with letters from Rapid City Superintendent Lori Simon, Sioux Falls Superintendent Brian Maher and Dell Rapids Superintendent Summer Schultz reiterating that this instruction was not taking place.

 

“This practice is not happening in South Dakota schools,” Monson told committee members. “This bill is not necessary.”

 

Rep. Pischke later noted he specifically did not “have any proof” of the instruction, but added that “a Google search” of gender dysphoria could produce information related to the topic that could be used in instruction.

 

Committee member Sen. Jordan Youngberg suggested his colleagues trust local school leaders.

 

“If this isn’t an issue in itself, we need to wait,” Sen. Youngberg said. “Wait on this bill and trust our local school boards.”

 

ASBSD opposed the bill.

 

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