Our Lieutenant Governor thinks that our womenfolk are in grave danger. He has made it a high priority for the legislature to enact SB 6, AKA “the bathroom bill” so that male sexual predators will no longer be able to assault women in public restrooms designated for women. I did not realize that this was a major problem. Perhaps reports of these assaults go directly to the Lieutenant Gov. They sure haven’t made the news much.
The business community has pushed back hard on this, fearing that it will be perceived as discriminatory and lead to boycotts like has happened in North Carolina. Sensitive to business pressures, Dan Patrick’s bill basically leaves private business free to do what they want with their bathrooms, even if they are renting space from the government. So if Starbucks wants to open their bathrooms to all comers, that’s OK. If the NCAA rents the Alamodome for the Final Four, it will be able to allow men to go into the women’s bathrooms as much as they want. We don’t want to get in the way of bidness.
Mr. Patrick is not as concerned about pushback from the education community. Nor is he much of a proponent of local control on these issues. The bill, oddly, declares that public school districts are not political subdivisions of the state. They aren’t? That is certainly contrary to numerous other provisions in the law. Nevertheless, this bill has one set of rules for “political subdivisions” and another for school districts and charter schools. The difference is that political subdivisions, such as cities, can lease space to private businesses that allow transgender people to use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. This opens the door to the Final Four at the Alamodome. Schools can’t do that.
The bill does allow a school to accommodate “special circumstances” without identifying what such circumstances are. In the event of such “special circumstances” a school may allow a person to use a single-occupancy bathroom or “the controlled use” of a faculty bathroom. But the school may not accommodate the special case by allowing the person to use a multi-occupancy bathroom designated for the opposite sex.
No word yet on school finance. Maybe after the legislature deals with this pressing issue it can turn its attention to that nagging problem. Stay tuned.
DAWG BONE: KEEP AN EYE ON SB 6—THE BATHROOM BILL.
Tomorrow: SCOTUS hears arguments over what FAPE really means.