The Arkansas State Assembly voted in favor of a bill that allows teachers and public school administrators to ignore the preferred name or gender-defining pronoun of transgender students if they do not match their biological sex.
The Civil Rights Act will protect school personnel from this type of requirement, which includes other gender-defining titles or words.
Republican State Assembly member Mary Bentley, the main sponsor of the bill, said she heard complaints from teachers about students who repeatedly changed their names and gender pronouns. The teachers said they were afraid to use the “wrong” title, as they could be sued. “This bill is just the first step to help protect our teachers,” Bentley said.
However, another member of the Assembly, Democrat Fred Love, objected that the use of a student’s preferred pronoun or name was merely an act of common courtesy.
The bill was passed with a largely Republican majority in the Assembly, although two Republicans voted against it. Several other states in which Republicans control legislatures have passed similar laws restricting the rights of transgender schoolchildren.
As I want, I am so called …