LITTLE ROCK (LifeSiteNews) — Arkansas Republican Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill Tuesday that prohibits people at public or charter schools from using bathrooms or locker rooms that do not coincide with their biological sex.
According to provisions of the bill, people at K-12 public and charter schools must use multi-person bathrooms and locker rooms in accord with their biological sex.
The bill also requires that schools provide “reasonable accommodation” for anyone “unable or unwilling” to use a multi-person bathroom or changing area, such as offering single person bathrooms or changing areas. Opponents of the bill claim, however, that it does not offer schools the appropriations necessary to provide such accommodations if they are lacking.
School superintendents, principals, and teachers face a potential fine of at least $1,000 for violations from a state panel. The bill further allows parents to file lawsuits as an enforcement mechanism.
The bill will take effect 90 days after April 7, the last day of the state’s current legislative session, and will be in place for the upcoming school year, Fox News reported.
A statement released by Sanders’ spokeswoman Alexa Henning said, “The Governor has said she will sign laws that focus on protecting and educating our kids, not indoctrinating them and believes our schools are no place for the radical left’s woke agenda.” “Arkansas isn’t going to rewrite the rules of biology just to please a handful of far-left advocates,” the statement continued.
A similar bill applying to adults in the state passed the Arkansas Senate last week. According to the bill, a person who uses a bathroom or locker room not in accord with his or her biological sex and in the presence of a child could face charges of misdemeanor sexual indecency with a child.
Arkansas is the fourth state to pass such a law, and the first to do so this year. Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee have passed similar laws, but the laws in the latter two states face lawsuits. Eleven other states are also considering similar bathroom laws, including Idaho and Iowa, where the bills await gubernatorial signatures.
The law further comes six years after North Carolina repealed its bathroom law after the state faced boycotts and protests.
Earlier this month, Sanders signed two bills designed to combat LGBT ideology. One bill allows people who have received transgender hormone and surgical interventions as minors to file malpractice suits against providers up to 15 years after their 18th birthday. Another bill, similar to Florida’s Parental Rights in Education Law, forbids discussion of gender theory, Critical Race Theory (CRT), and the use of sexually explicit materials in Arkansas schools before fifth grade.