Florida officials pass new rule requiring restroom use based on biological sex in state colleges

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Florida education officials voted Wednesday to approve a rule requiring students and employees to use the bathroom corresponding to their sex assigned at birth. The new rules apply to schools in the Florida College System.

The Florida Board of Education approved the rule during a meeting in Naples.

The rule requires colleges to “update policies and procedures pertaining to the use of restrooms and changing facilities by males or females, based on biological sex at birth.” It implements one of many anti-LGBTQ bills that Governor Ron DeSantis signed this year.

State Board of Education chair Ben Gibson said they had no choice but to approve it.

“The state board is required by law to pass this rule and to provide further requirements”

During public comment, most spoke against the rule. Maxx Fenning is the executive director of LGBTQ advocacy group PRISM.

“Trans people are not a threat but are consistently the most threatened in our schools. Transgender people have already been using the bathroom that aligns with their gender identity for years without incident, but there’ve been many documented instances of trans people who have been forced to use the bathroom with their sex assigned at birth, and have been mocked, harassed, and even beaten.”

Colleges also are required to establish disciplinary policies for personnel who violate the law. Second documented offenses would result in employees being terminated.

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