South Dakota House approves restrictions on schools teaching about gender dysphoria

The South Dakota House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a bill that would ban public schools from teaching about gender dysphoria through the seventh grade.

The measure passed the House by a vote of 39-30 and now heads to the state Senate, according to the Associated Press.

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The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Tom Pischke (R) told, the AP the goal of the legislation is to assure that public schools aren’t “teaching and confusing our young children to be more susceptible to this dysphoria.”

Gender dysphoria is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a conflict between a person’s physical gender or gender assigned at birth and the gender with which the individual identifies as.

Gender dysphoria became a medically recognized as it is currently understood in 2013, when it was reclassified from its previous label of gender identity disorder.

South Dakota state Rep. Kelly Sullivan (D) opposes the legislation because she says it discriminates against transgender kids.

"This bill would be discriminatory," Sullivan said. "I think we are better than this as lawmakers. I know that South Dakota is better than this. We have to stop searching for a solution to a problem that does not exist."

The measure was modified by a House panel last week after it originally intended to ban teaching about gender identity or expression altogether.

Republican state Rep. Fred Deutsch said he supports the bill because he doesn't want his grandchildren "going to kindergarten and being confused if they're a boy or a girl."

"Treat our children with respect, all of them, but let's not subject them to notions of fancy," he said.