K-12 EDUCATION

Board of Education: Districts must explain bathroom law

Apr 23, 2024, 7:00 PM

A law passed by Utah lawmakers requires that people use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on th...

A law passed by Utah lawmakers requires that people use the bathroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificates in publicly funded buildings. The law will be implemented May 1, 2024. On that date, the Utah School Board of Education said each school district in the state will have to present the new information to students in its own way. (Stock)

(Stock)

SALT LAKE CITY–The Utah State Board of Education now says implementation of the controversial new bathroom bill, HB 257, is up to the school districts. 

The Salt Lake City School District initially believed it needed to present, to all students, how the new bathroom bill would work. However, after parent pushback and questions from KSL NewsRadio, the district ended up canceling the public presentations.

Instead, they said their district will work with impacted students one-on-one.

Last week, the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kera Birkeland, told Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News, that is closer to what she intended all along.


 

“I don’t quite understand what Salt Lake City was honestly trying to do.” Birkeland said.

“I talked to a lot of different districts throughout the state. (They’d) been questioned by the media saying, ‘Hey this is what Salt Lake is doing. What are you guys doing?’ A lot of the superintendents said, ‘We’re just going to handle it the best way for the kids.’ Broadcasting gender ideology to all the children is not the best way. Calling out that there are some kids that want to use a bathroom that doesn’t align with their biological sex–that’s not what’s best for the kids.”

Utah State Board of Ed. says no guidance was given on implementing bathroom bill

In a statement on Tuesday, the USBE said neither the legislature nor the school board ever laid out guidance on how the information should have been presented. The USBE said it was up to the districts, or Local Education Agency (LEA), to decide what is best for its students. 

“USBE has not provided guidance or direction. Nor has USBE been directed by the state legislature to issue guidance or direction to LEAs regarding this bill,” the USBE statement read.

“LEAs will determine how best to communicate the requirements listed in the bill to the students and families in their respective communities.”

The law goes into effect May 1, 2024.

Related reading: Gov. Cox signs bathroom and diversity bills into law

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Board of Education: Districts must explain bathroom law