View Amendment Current Amendment: 5 to Bill 3728

Reps. Trantham, Hiott, G.M. Smith, Hadden, McCravy, Long, Pace, Beach, Magnuson, Crawford, Burns, Chumley, Cromer, Wooten, Lawson, Oremus, and Thayer propose the following amendment (LC-3728.WAB0050H):

Amend the bill, as and if amended, by adding an appropriately numbered SECTION to read:

SECTION X. Article 5, Chapter 1, Title 59 of the S.C. Code is amended by adding:

Section 59-1-415. (A)(1) Public schools shall provide a reasonable accommodation to any person who:

(a) for any reason, is unwilling or unable to use a multi-occupancy restroom or changing facility designated for the person's sex and located within a public school building, or multi-occupancy sleeping quarters while attending a public school-sponsored activity, and

(b) requests a reasonable accommodation to the public school.

(2) Reasonable accommodations may include but are not limited to access to a single-occupancy restroom or changing facility, or use of an employee restroom or changing facility. A reasonable accommodation shall not include access to a restroom or changing facility that is designated for use by members of the opposite sex while persons of the opposite sex are present or could be present.

(3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit public schools from adopting policies necessary to accommodate persons protected under the Americans with Disabilities Act or young children in need of physical assistance when using restrooms or changing facilities located in public schools.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit public schools from authorizing a person to enter a facility designated for the opposite sex:

(a) for custodial or maintenance purposes, when the facility is not occupied by a member of the opposite sex;

(b) to render emergency medical assistance; or

(c) during a natural disaster, emergency, or when necessary to prevent a serious threat to good order or student safety.

(B) There is a private cause of action that any parent or guardian may bring against a school district for any violation of this section. An action under this section may be commenced, and relief may be granted, without regard to whether the person commencing the action has sought or exhausted available administrative remedies. A parent or guardian who successfully asserts a claim against a school district under this section may recover declaratory relief, injunctive relief, and reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

(C) For purposes of this section:

(1) "Changing facility" means a facility in which a person may be in a state of undress in the presence of others, including a locker room, changing room, or shower room.

(2) "Public school" has the same meaning as in Section 59-1-120 and does not include private schools, religious schools, and home schools.

(3) "Restroom" means a facility that includes one or more toilets or urinals.

(4) "Sex" means a person's immutable biological sex as determined by anatomy and genetics existing at the time of birth. Evidence of a person's sex includes but is not limited to any government-issued identification document that accurately identifies a person's sex.