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Statement from Abbe Land: South Dakota Governor Vetoes Anti-Trans Student Bathroom Bill

FILE – In this Jan. 12, 2016 file photo, South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard delivers his during his annual state of the state address at the state Capitol in Pierre. Daugaard faces a deadline Tuesday, March 1, 2016, to make a decision about a bill that would require transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their sex at birth. Daugaard hasn’t said what he plans to do with the proposal. If he signs the legislation or allows it to take effect without his signature, South Dakota would become the first state in the nation with such a law. (AP Photo/James Nord, File)

As one of the leaders in advocacy and policy change for LGBTQ youth, The Trevor Project applauds Governor Dennis Dauggard for vetoing HB 1008, a bill that would have banned transgender students from safely accessing bathrooms in their schools.

With nearly half of young transgender people who have seriously thought about taking their lives, and one quarter who have reported having made a suicide attempt [4], Governor Dauggard’s vetoing of this bill is just one step towards ensuring the mental health and well-being of transgender youth in school environments.

While South Dakota has made progress by vetoing HB 1008, there are similar anti-trans bills across Wisconsin, Kentucky, Mississippi, Illinois, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. At The Trevor Project, we are advocating to require LGBTQ suicide prevention training of all school personnel through our Model School District Policy, which includes recognizing the genders of transgender youth, both through LGBTQ education and affirmative spaces, such as bathrooms. With your support of this policy, we can ensure that youth have brighter educations, regardless of gender or sexuality.

To join us in inspiring change across the U.S., learn about how to take action on our Advocacy Page. Thank you for helping save young lives by joining us in our advocacy efforts.


Abbe Land, Executive Director and CEO, The Trevor Project


[4] Grossman, A.H. & D’Augelli, A.R. (2007). Transgender Youth and Life-Threatening Behaviors. Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviors. 37(5), 527-37.

Photo via AP/James Nord