PIERRE, S.D. — A South Dakota lawmaker has introduced two new bills that deal with transgender youth.
Senate Bill 88 would require a counselor, school psychologist or social worker employed by a school district or nonpublic school in South Dakota to notify a student’s parent if the student is “articulating feelings of gender dysphoria.”
Senate Bill 93 gives a parent the right to refuse to consent to health care treatment options, including mental health treatment, for transgender youth.
Both bills were introduced by District 33 state Sen. Phil Jensen, R-Rapid City.
The American Civil Liberties Union of South Dakota stated they oppose both bills in a news release.
In regard to SB 88, the ACLU said “this bill could result in forced disclosure of someone’s trans or questioning status to a non-affirming parent which could result in the young person becoming homeless or physically harmed.”
“When transgender youth face discrimination and victimization at school, it can often lead to serious negative health and mental health consequences,” said Libby Skarin, policy director for the ACLU of South Dakota, in the statement. “Senate Bill 88 infringes on the rights of privacy of youth and deters young people from seeking support from trusted adults in positions to counsel them.”
Skarin said that SB93 just amounts to a “proclamation of government disapproval of transgender young people and contributes to the already dangerous rates of family rejection for transgender youth.”
A bill also has been introduced in the House. HB 1057 would make it illegal for doctors to perform gender affirming surgeries or prescribe puberty-blockers or hormones to transgender children younger than 16.