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Bathroom Bill signed into Law by Governor Little

Bathroom Doors
Posted at 9:35 AM, Mar 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-24 21:17:09-04

BOISE, Idaho — On March 23, Governor Little signed S1100, As Amended, making the bill the law. S1100, also known as the Bathroom Bill, garnered much attention, as it addresses gender identity and what is and is not allowed in some school facilities. The measure had passed in both the House and the Senate with an overwhelming majority.

RELATED | SB 1100, known as the 'Bathroom bill,' is headed to Governor Little's Desk

The law requires public schools to maintain separate restrooms, showers, and changing areas for biological boys and biological girls. It also requires the school to provide reasonable accommodations for any student who is unwilling, or unable, to use a multi-occupancy facility designated for his or her biological sex.

Exemptions will be applied in certain situations, including when a person whose gender identity is of the opposite biological sex needs to enter the facility to provide medical assistance, clean the facility, or in cases of ongoing safety emergencies or natural disasters.

RELATED | Senate's "Bathroom Bill" on the way to Governor Little

The law's supporters say that it will create a safe space for all children.

"This legislation gives schools the certainty that they need to formulate good policies that protect the privacy and safety of all students ensuring that every student feels safe at school," Said Blaine Conzatti, the President of the Idaho Family Policy Center, a conservative Christian organization.

However, some transgender kids don't see it that way. As this new law takes effect, some fear for their own safety.

"Transgender kids aren't being protected anymore," said Phoenix McCoubrey, a Senior at Borah high school. McCoubrey is transgender. "There is not a layer of protection between the district and the student. So my high school can’t step in and protect me from the mental impact that will have on me as a student."

One facet of the law carries penalties for schools for not following the law. Students would be able to sue their schools for up to $5,000 for each offense if they feel the school is not adhering to this new law.

Finn Watson will be a senior next school year when the law goes into effect. They say that the law will have negative impacts on the mental health of transgender kids. Watson says that it's frustrating that there is not a lot they can do about the law going into effect.

"It feels like there is nothing you can do about it," Watson said. "Essentially there isn't if they're gonna do this. It's harmful, man. It's really frustrating, all of us want to speak up but there is no one listening."

Idaho News 6 reached out to the Caldwell School district to better understand how their district policy would change. They said they are reviewing the contents of the law but would comply with any necessary changes they need to make.

One question is how will schools enforce this rule.

“I have no idea how they’re going to try to police this," McCoubrey said. "Especially the Boise School district that has a policy in place where I am allowed to use whatever bathroom I want in the school district, that now being against the law basically.”

The law will go into effect on July 1st.