Bathroom rules now apply to private schools in Florida

Published on October 19, 2023 at 9:59 am

Students and faculty at private colleges and universities will only be allowed to use facilities that align with the sex they were assigned at birth under a new Florida Board of Education rule.

These rules have been in place at public schools in the state since July 1st under the Safety in Private Spaces Act.

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Under the new rule, private school students and faculty will join their public school peers in only being allowed to use facilities that align with the sex they were assigned at birth.

Emma Roy spoke out against the rule ahead of the vote. She said the rule only requires one unisex facility on campus, which is not enough for all LGBTQ people to share.

“What it actually does right now in the public schools at least is the unisex restroom is the teacher’s restroom. So we have a situation whereby all the non-binary and transgender and the teachers all line up for this unisex bathroom,” said Roy.

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Another public commentator applauded the rule, saying it was about safety and clarity. Yvette Benarroach is the chair of the Collier County Chapter of Moms for Liberty.

“The designation of restrooms and changing facilities in a private post-secondary educational facility, as determined at birth by biological sex isn’t about discrimination,” said Benarroach. “It’s about safety and clarity. It provides a clear framework for institutions to follow, alleviating confusion for both students and staff.”

Institutions must include the rule in their student handbook, including a disciplinary procedure for anyone caught using a facility designated for the opposite sex.

Any faculty or staff who don’t follow the rule, stand to lose their certification from the state department of education.

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