Florida’s State Universities Contemplate New Rules On Restroom Use

In a bid to uphold Florida’s recently enacted law on restroom usage in state facilities, the governing board of Florida’s state university system is contemplating a new regulation that could lead to disciplinary actions against faculty members who do not use school restrooms in accordance with their biological gender.

This proposed policy, put forth by the Florida Board of Governors, which oversees the State University System of Florida, aims to align the state’s educational institutions with HB 1521, a law signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis in May. HB 1521 stipulates that students and staff must utilize restrooms corresponding to their biological gender.

The law, officially known as HB 1521, outlines the “requirements for exclusive use of restrooms & changing facilities by gender.” It explicitly “prohibits willfully entering restroom or changing facility” meant for the opposite gender and “refusing to depart when asked to do so.” 

Furthermore, it mandates public entities, including schools, to “establish disciplinary procedures or policies” to address violations of this law.

In accordance with HB 1521, the Florida Board of Governors has laid out its proposal, which asserts that each state university must fully comply with HB 1521. This entails having restrooms designated exclusively for females, restrooms exclusively for males, or those meant for both genders. 

The proposal underscores that university employees who violate the state law may be subject to disciplinary procedures set by their respective institutions, which could include actions up to and including dismissal.

This rule bears similarities to the one adopted by the Florida Board of Education for the state’s college system, with one crucial distinction — it mandates that “a second documented offense must result in a termination” of the offending faculty member.

Action News Jax reported that during the proposal’s introduction, only one member of the governing board expressed objections, citing concerns over potential harassment issues. The ultimate fate of the regulation will be decided in November when the board is expected to cast their votes on its implementation for the university system. 

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