Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R-AR) signed the bill into law on Tuesday, banning transgender people from using restrooms and locker rooms according to their gender identity. The bill applies for kindergarten through 12th grade students in public and charter schools.
“The Governor has said she will sign laws that focus on protecting and educating our kids, not indoctrinating them and believes our schools are no place for the radical Left’s woke agenda,” Sanders spokeswoman Alexa Henning said in a statement. “Arkansas isn’t going to rewrite the rules of biology just to please a handful of far-Left advocates.”
The law, which will go into effect 90 days after the state’s legislative session ends on April 7, outlines that school officials and teachers who violate it could be fined at least $1,000 from a state panel.
Republican state Rep. Mary Bentley sponsored the bill and has said: “Each child in our schools has a right to privacy and to feel safe and to feel comfortable in the bathroom they need to go to.”
If the law is not enforced, parents will also be able to file a private lawsuit.
Arkansas joins Alabama, Oklahoma, and Tennessee with similar bills.
Those against the bans have argued they only further marginalize transgender people.
Arkansas is also considering a bill that would charge people who use a public restroom or changing room different from that of their biological sex when a minor is present with a misdemeanor of sexual indecency with a child.
Sanders recently signed an education overhaul bill into law, creating a new school voucher program that gives families funds to access the learning environment that’s right for them.