Metro Weekly

Laverne Cox: Protect students from anti-transgender bill

Laverne Cox Photo by Jill Greenberg for Netflix
Laverne Cox – Photo by Jill Greenberg for Netflix

“Studies show that 78% of trans students experience harassment or bullying in school and nearly 50% attempt suicide. We should be creating safer, nurturing environments for our children not more hostile ones.”

Laverne Cox, Emmy-nominated Orange is the New Black cast member, calling for South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) to veto a bill that would prevent transgender students from using restrooms and locker rooms in public schools that differ from their genders at birth.

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In an Instagram post, Cox shared a photo of Thomas Lewis, a transgender senior at Lincoln High School in Sioux Falls. Lewis has been advocating against the bill and has spoken to state lawmakers. “The law means that no matter what people might think at school, how they might accept me at school, the state doesn’t,” he told the Associated PressThe New York Times joined their call to veto the bill today in an editorial, stating that there are “many good reasons to veto” the bill.

The bill is a signature away from being enacted, but if it does, “reasonable accommodation” for transgender students would be required. Whether that means providing single-occupancy or controlled use of staff-designated facilities would be determined by the state’s school districts.

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