Stop This South Dakota Bill to Ban Schools From Acknowledging Transgender Issues

A few years back, “don’t say gay” bills were all the rage in conservative states. The idea was to ban teachers from allowing conversations and lessons about homosexuality in an effort to prevent gayness from seeming acceptable. Now that kind of legislation is resurfacing in the form of “don’t say trans.”

South Dakota is the first state to advance a bill designed to stifle discussion about gender identity. If passed, the bill would prevent teachers throughout the state from acknowledging gender identity or expression to kids in elementary or middle school.

Sign the petition: Tell South Dakota to drop this legislation before it gets any further.

As the Associated Press points out, the states that have passed laws against allowing LGBT issues to be referenced in curriculum are also the most likely to have LGBT students who are physically and verbally bullied and feel unsupported by school staff. In refusing to acknowledge gender identities, the bill appears to be a deliberate attempt to marginalize transgender and non-binary children in South Dakota.

State Senator Phil Jensen, a Republican obviously, offers a seemingly innocuous explanation for this bill he introduced. He believes the topic doesn’t need to be explored because time should be devoted to the fundamentals, saying, “I think we need to be focusing on reading, writing and arithmetic.”

Okay, then why not also ban classrooms from discussing video games or pop music that could also be considered distractions? Teachers are professionals who understand what the kids can handle and how to veer the conversation back to the subject at hand.

The legislation seems primarily propelled by fear. According to the Education Department of South Dakota, the organization is not even aware of any schools in the state that teach about gender identity, so the law would not be addressing anything even if you were to consider it a problem. Clearly, close-minded people are upset at the progression of trans rights and trying to push back.

For proof that Senator Jensen is one of those people, look no further than another bill he proposed this term. SB 202 would force all public restrooms to have a sign that “warns” visitors that people of the opposite sex may be in the restroom with them. That seems like a petty response to Governor Dennis Daugaard, a Republican, vetoing the legislature’s trans bathroom discrimination bill in 2016.

Oh, and there’s also the fact that Jensen made a direct comparison between gay people and pedophiles when supporting a bill to block gay couples from adopting babies, so seriously ignore whatever this man tries to say.

Take Action

That’s why this new Care2 petition encourages Governor Daugaard to preemptively threaten to veto any such legislation from Jensen. There’s no need to even stress out transgender children and their parents with this hate-fueled legislation. Let’s leave teachers with the freedom to encourage acceptance if the subject is broached.

Photo credit: Thinkstock


Marie W
Marie W7 months ago

Thanks for sharing.

DAVID fleming
Past Member about a year ago


Lesa D
Past Member about a year ago

#24799 petition signed...

thank you Kevin...

Hannah K
Past Member about a year ago

Done. Thanks.

Chrissie R
Chrissie Rabout a year ago

Thanks for posting.

Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a year ago

signed petition, ty

Angela J
Angela Jabout a year ago


Daniel N
Past Member about a year ago


Bill E
Bill Eabout a year ago

I signed the petition.

pam w
pam wabout a year ago comes Jose E, proselytizing about his god and his ideas about the world. He wants to prevent school children from learning SCIENCE. Wrong, wrong, wrong.