Mizzou is the latest school to sign on to a new bill that would ban transgender students from using the bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender identity.
The bill, introduced on Thursday by state Rep. John Barrowman (R-St. Louis), would prohibit schools from providing facilities to students based on their biological sex.
It also includes protections for transgender students.
Under the bill, students with a gender identity disorder or gender dysphoria would have to use the facilities that align with their biological gender.
The new measure is also a boon for the school system, which has long faced challenges with transgender students and locker room use.
A report by the New York Civil Liberties Union found that the school’s policies have been ineffective in reducing the number of transgender students on campus.
According to the ACLU report, “Mizzou has long had a longstanding policy that prohibited transgender students to use its athletic facilities.”
The school’s president and vice president have both been vocal supporters of the bill.
Barrowmacher also has a daughter who identifies as transgender.
Mizzowas new law will allow transgender students the same access to the school restrooms and lockerrooms as other students.
That is important because, under the bill and other school bathroom legislation, transgender students have a hard time accessing facilities that are not designated for them, according to the American Civil LibertiesUnion.
The ACLU said it was disappointed that Mizzowans lawmakers had chosen to pass the bill “despite the overwhelming public support and clear and consistent public safety and security concerns” about transgender people.
“The public health imperative is that students who are at risk of sexual assault and other forms of abuse should be able to safely use the bathrooms that align and are safe from harassment and assault,” said Jeniffer Gibbs, the group’s executive director.
The legislation also includes a provision to ensure that schools will not require transgender students use the restroom that corresponds with their gender expression.
Under the measure, schools must use restrooms consistent with the student’s gender identity and expression.
If the school fails to comply with the law, schools will have to give notice and be liable for any violations.
Moses S. Carter, Mizzowa’s first black superintendent, said the legislation would ensure “all students can be protected and be able go to school, have their day in the classroom and participate in their community without fear of harassment.”
He added that the bill would not address the issue of bullying, harassment or intimidation.
Barrowman’s bill comes at a time when the Supreme Court is considering a case involving a transgender student who was denied access to a public school bathroom.