Protect All Students: Do Not Pass H.B. 1008
My name is Jackson Burke, I’m a 15 year old freshman student at New Technology High School in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Recently, I was surprised to hear that lawmakers in my state have proposed a bill that would single out transgender students and make them use separate restrooms and locker rooms from everyone else. If passed, this would be one of the worst anti-LGBT laws in the country.
I’ve never felt unsafe or felt that my privacy was being intruded because of sharing the bathroom with my transgender friends and peers. Everybody goes to the bathroom. Nothing about this bill would make students feel safer or more private when we do. In fact, supporters of this bill have manufactured a problem that actual South Dakota students aren’t concerned about. If they would have asked us high school students, they’d know that.
Join me in asking South Dakota lawmakers to vote in the best interests of actual students and defeat this harmful bill. Lawmakers are sending the wrong message to students by proposing this bill in the first place—they’re basically saying that it’s okay to harass, bully, or segregate someone who is different.
Even worse, if passed, this bill could open the door to similar legislation around our country.
As teenagers, we know firsthand what it’s like to feel a little different or out of place. We all have at some point. High school can be an awkward time, and legislating bathroom rules makes it even more so.
As students, we find safety and support by surrounding ourselves with an accepting community of peers that treat us with dignity and respect – not ostracizing those who are different. Even if it takes a little more effort for some to understand who they are, our transgender peers should be able to go to the bathroom safely.
There are a lot of ways the legislature could help the students of South Dakota rather than focusing on the time we spend in the bathroom—stand with me by signing the petition today asking South Dakota legislators to vote NO on H.B.1008.
Today: Jackson Burke with the ACLU is counting on you
Jackson Burke with the ACLU needs your help with “Do Not Pass H.B. 1008 #SDPottyPolice”. Join Jackson Burke with the ACLU and 7,631 supporters today.