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Deutsch’s Potty Bill Mandates Separate School Bathrooms for Students and Adults

Rep. Fred Deutsch’s paranoid potty bill bullies transgender kids. It will also prevent Fred from taking a whiz at next year’s Watertown HS basketball games.

House Bill 1008 seeks to permanently exclude and ostracize transgender kids from using school bathrooms normally like everyone else. But a commenter got me wondering what impact this bill would have on adults. I reviewed the text of the bill and found no mention of adult users of school bathrooms. In not mentioning adults, HB 1008 appears to exclude adults from using school bathrooms. Consider the first sentence of Section 2:

Every restroom, locker room, and shower room located in a public elementary or secondary school that is designated for student use and is accessible by multiple students at the same time shall be designated for and used only by students of the same biological sex [excerpt, Section 2, House Bill 1008, as amended and approved by the South Dakota House of Representatives, 2016.01.27].

That language says that if a school says students may use a bathroom in a school building, then only students may use that bathroom. The bill text doesn’t qualify that restriction with a timeframe: it doesn’t say “during school hours.” If students tinkle there, non-students cannot.

Section 2 of HB 1008 thus creates the following restrictions:

  1. Teachers cannot use student bathrooms.
  2. The kindergarten teacher cannot use that little bathroom in her own classroom, even after all the kids have gone home for the day and she’s working late cutting out circles for tomorrow’s art project.
  3. Parents cannot use student bathrooms while they wait for parent-teacher conferences.
  4. Adults attending school basketball games can’t relieve themselves in bathrooms used during the day by students.
  5. Adults attending school theater productions can’t take a potty break during intermission.
  6. Preschoolers (they’re not students yet!) visiting the school for any reason have to hold it until they get home.

HB 1008 thus creates the unintended financial mandate that I contemplated back in November when Rep. Deutsch started squawking about his alleged concern for student privacy (well, privacy for the students he favors, but not for those darn transgender kids). If they haven’t already, schools will have to build separate bathrooms for faculty and restrict teacher-tinkling to those spaces (a policy I do not favor, since making teachers walk farther from their classrooms to use separate bathrooms reduces their productivity and inhibits their ability to monitor the student bathrooms to prevent bullying and other misbehavior). Schools won’t be able to tuck those teacher bathrooms in the faculty lounge; they’ll need to place them in public areas where visiting adults can easily find and use them. Schools will have to build separate large bathrooms to handle the crowds that come for plays and games and other community events.

It turns out that House Bill 1008 isn’t just an attack on transgender students. It’s an attack on school capital outlay funds. Or let’s try being positive: just as Rep. Deutsch’s potty bill is really about privacy, not mean-spritied culture-warriordom, this separate-toilet mandate is really about local economic stimulus, giving plumbers and contractors a surge of new work, not a drafting error arising from prejudicial zeal.

But hey, we’re all grown-ups. If the Senate passes HB 1008, we can all just hold our water at next year’s basketball games, right, Fred?


  1. Paul Seamans 2016-01-31 09:31

    As full of crap that Fred Deutsch seems to be I would venture that he never has used a school, or any other, restroom.

  2. mike from iowa 2016-01-31 11:01

    Good one.Mr Seamans. Deutsch does seem to fit the profile of being full of it. No private office for him so he can verify the sex of school kids for hisself?

  3. grudznick 2016-01-31 11:22

    Now you told them how to fix the law bill, Mr. H. This Mr. Deutsch fellow will just add that part about “during classtime” to his words and beat your arguments.

  4. Loren 2016-01-31 11:57

    Seems to me that the Republican legislators must sit around at happy hour and get all worked up about all things sexual, LGBT, genital inspections, potty breaks, ultrasounds, planned parenthood, … Is this a repression thing?

  5. bearcreekbat 2016-01-31 11:58

    grudz, I forget – which adult has to inspect each child’s genitals before the child is allowed to enter a particular bathroom? Must the inspector be of the same gender? If so who inspects the inspectors to assure that they have the correct genitalia?

    And must the inspectors of the inspectors be of the same gender? If so are we legislating something similar to Zeno’s paradox so that no one will ever be allowed to use a public bathroom again? How does that Deutsch fellow solve that problem grudz?

  6. mike from iowa 2016-01-31 12:37

    The fix for this bill is to wad it up and dispose of it in File 13,never to be seen or read again. Then replace these dingbat regulators of kid’s genitals with some adults whose minds aren’t in the playground gutter.

  7. larry kurtz 2016-01-31 12:54

    Are all South Dakota chiropractors criminals and nutjobs or just the Republican, catholic ones? Scott Munsterman groped at least one teen, Fred Deutsch and Jeff Monroe want to end civil rights for over half the state’s population.

  8. Rich 2016-01-31 13:29

    If this bill passes, who will be responsible for enforcing the new law? Will a new position of Attorney Genital need to be created? Who will then appoint Inspector Genitals to every single school in the state who will be empowered to make any questionable person entering a bathroom drop their drawers and underwear? As for the locker room section, will it bar gym teachers and coaches from being in the locker rooms while students shower? I thought it was part of a gym teacher’s or coach’s job to supervise their students while they are in class or participating in a sport.

    Hello, Mr. Deutsch?? Can you answer these questions please?

  9. mike from iowa 2016-01-31 13:33

    Excellent,Rich. Maybe Daugaard can get the Dept of Education to offer a huuuuge grant so Daugaard and cronys can share it and get rich and then there won’t be any money to hire Inspector Genitals. Problem goes away quicker than grant monies.

  10. grudznick 2016-01-31 13:52

    Mr, kurtz, if you could speak at the bonecracker caucus cracker barrel you would get some applause.

  11. Lynn 2016-01-31 14:13

    Unfortunately the non-Republican nutjobs, hallucinogenic enthusiasts, profiteers and addicts seeking to legalize weed/and eventually other illegal mind altering substances and just plain inept policy strategy of the political opposition have indirectly contributed to legislation such as this. They have driven people away and will continue to drive them away that would have helped make our South Dakota political system much healthier.

    I would highly advise if economically possible those parents of a transgender child or those older who are transgender to move out of South Dakota to a state such as Minnesota and in particular around the Twin Cities metro area. They would have far better opportunities in getting medical and mental health support, educational and economic. It would most likely be a much healthier and safer environment to thrive rather than the anxiety and negative distractions that exist in South Dakota.

    Life is too short for these very vulnerable individuals and it will probably take a few election cycles before there is any positive change towards a more balanced healthier political system in South Dakota if that ever even happens.

  12. jerry 2016-01-31 14:18

    I agree with you Mr. Kurtz, they mostly seem kind of strange in a strange sort of way. It may be a good thing to check in with them to see how their leanings are before you pay them to hurt you both figuratively and monetarily.

  13. jerry 2016-01-31 14:20

    Lynn, words escape me on where your head is on your post. I suspect a place, but will not go there.

  14. larry kurtz 2016-01-31 14:25

    I would advise people like Pat Powers who has a passel of sick kids and an untreatable wife to leave South Dakota so they can receive palliative care legally.

  15. Bree F. 2016-01-31 14:35

    We wouldn’t want to pass a law that might protect children from predators, now would we. Let the excuses fly.

  16. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-01-31 14:42

    Whoa, Bree—if anything, I’m pointing out an unintended consequence of the language of this bill (and feel free to show me anyplace in the committee, floor debate, or press where Rep. Deutsch or any other bill proponent has spoken of risks from anyone other than students masquerading as the opposite gender) that might actually do more to address predators than anything bill sponsors have said yet. Aren’t most sexual predators adults preying on children? Aren’t most of South Dakota’s registered sex offenders adults who committed their crimes as adults? Where are the rampaging hordes of transgender students wreaking sex crimes upon their peers?

  17. larry kurtz 2016-01-31 15:16

    pe-ers. funny, cory.

  18. Spencer 2016-01-31 15:53

    Actually, this bill discourages bullying by defusing situations that could potentially lead to bullying.

  19. larry kurtz 2016-01-31 16:08

    Actually, this bill stigmatizes yet another segment of South Dakota’s population deemed undesirable by the white, christianic ruling class.

  20. larry kurtz 2016-01-31 16:13

    But, laud Fred and his nutball sidekicks for burning up the clock with this tripe avoiding accountability for the culture of corruption in Pierre, Bendagate and the Westerhuis murders.

  21. grudznick 2016-01-31 16:57

    It is indeed good that Dr. Duetsch is wasting much time preventing the legislatures from doing no harm. Is it not the case that doctors always say “but first do no harm?”

  22. larry kurtz 2016-01-31 17:22

    Fred Deutsch is a doctor like Stan Adelstein is an imam.

  23. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-01-31 17:47

    Spencer, that’s victim-blaming. Shame on you. HB 1008 is an exercise in bullying; passing it reinforces the attitudes that mean kids and adults use to bully transgender kids. We defuse bullying by not bullying. Step 1 in not bullying is to kill this bill.

  24. Roger Cornelius 2016-01-31 20:52

    Seriously, why has this even become and issue over the past couple of years. Were transgender kids just recently created and other students just now decided to complain about them
    How was this issue handled 10-15 years ago?
    This whole subject and attempted legislation is nothing more than grandstanding by self-righteous idiots.

  25. Porter Lansing 2016-01-31 20:56

    Another Republican Haybilly Hate Bill. #BeLikeLynn???

  26. scott 2016-01-31 21:03

    The SD House and SD Senate are not intended to be places where individual wishes or individual ideas are to be passed into law. I’m so tired of our legislators wasting time while there are pressing issues in this state such as lack of workers.

    In DC all they do is argue and in Pierre all they seem to do is come up with wacky ideas they want to put into law.

  27. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-01-31 21:14

    Scott, can we find candidates who will go tot he legislature with the right mindset you want them to have? What legislators do we have now who avoid those unhealthy distractions?

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