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North Dakota Adopts Bill Letting Teachers Ignore Students’ Preferred Pronouns

North Dakota Passes Bill Allowing Government Employees to Ignore Transgender Pronouns

North Dakota has made headlines again with its latest bill that allows government employees, including public school teachers, to ignore the preferred pronouns of transgender students or colleagues. The bill, which passed with a veto-proof majority, is now awaiting Republican Gov. Doug Burgum’s approval to become law.

What the Bill Entails

  • Public school teachers cannot refer to transgender students by pronouns other than those reflecting their biological sex without permission from the student’s parents and a school administrator.
  • Government entities cannot force employees to refer to their colleagues by pronouns that are inconsistent with their biological sex.

Republican Rep. Karen Rohr, who supports the bill, said it includes language that Burgum has no objections to signing. However, Burgum vetoed a similar bill in March, stating that it would make teachers’ jobs more challenging by requiring them to police pronoun use.

Other Measures

Burgum has signed several bills into law this month restricting transgender rights, including one that protects the rights of individuals who object to transgender people using their spaces, such as bathrooms. He also signed a bill prohibiting transgender people in North Dakota from using bathrooms, locker rooms, and showers in places like college dorms and jails that don’t match their biological sex.

Republican Rep. Jeff Hoverson, who supported the bill, said the idea of bathrooms being restricted to people of a given sex should be a no-brainer. “Why would you not want a men’s bathroom to be for men, and a women’s bathroom to be for women?” he asked.

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