On Friday afternoon, Rep. Tim Miller, a Republican from Prinsburg, offered an amendment to HF844, the Omnibus K-12 education policy and finance bill, that could be debated on Saturday. That amendment states:
moves to amend H.F. No. 844, the second engrossment, as follows:
1.2Page 24, after line 23, insert:
“Sec. 9. [121A.35] STUDENT PHYSICAL PRIVACY ACT.
Subdivision 1. Purpose. The purpose of this section is to protect and provide for the privacy and safety of all students enrolled in public schools and to maintain order and dignity in restrooms, locker rooms, changing rooms, showers, and other facilities where students may be in various states of undress in the presence of other students.
Subd. 2. Definitions. For the purposes of this section, the following terms have the meanings given them.(a) “Sex” means the physical condition of being male or female, which is determined by a person’s chromosomes and is identified at birth by a person’s anatomy.(b) “Public school” means a public school under section 120A.05, subdivisions 9, 11, 13, and 17, and a charter school under section 124D.10.
Subd. 3. Student physical privacy protection. (a) A public school student restroom, locker room, changing room, and shower room accessible by multiple students at the same time shall be designated for the exclusive use by students of the male sex only or by students of the female sex only.(b) A public school student restroom, locker room, changing room, and shower room that is designated for the exclusive use of one sex shall be used only by members of that sex.
(c) In any other public school facility or setting where a student may be in a state of undress in the presence of other students, school personnel shall provide separate, private, and safe areas designated for use by students based on their sex.(d) Nothing in this section shall prohibit public schools from providing accommodation such as single-occupancy facilities or controlled use of faculty facilities upon a student request due to special circumstances, but in no event shall that accommodation result in a public school allowing a student to use a facility designated under paragraph (b) for a sex other than the student’s own sex.”
Renumber the sections in sequence and correct the internal references
Amend the title accordingly
Miller is asking the Republican-controlled Minnesota House to add the amendment language to the K-12 education omnibus bill, a package of budget and education policies. Twenty-nine Republicans have signed on to Miller’s bill, or just under half of the votes needed to pass the amendment (68 votes are needed to pass and the House has 72 Republicans).
The amendment is similar to Miller’s “Student Physical Privacy Act,” a bill introduced earlier this legislative session.
The bill is one being touted by anti-LGBT groups, the Minnesota Child Protection League and the Minnesota Family Council. The bill is a reaction to recent policies enacted in the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts that increases safety and inclusion for transgender and gender nonconforming students. It is also a reaction to an appeals process put in place by the Minnesota State High School League that allows transgenders student to play on athletics teams based on their gender. It would bar school districts from adopting transgender-inclusive policies, and repeal the MSHSL appeals process.
The amendment by Miller appears to skip over the MSHSL appeals process and targets the Minneapolis and St. Paul school districts’ policies.
In mid-March, Republicans attempted to fast-track a Senate version of the bill, but that attempt was defeated.