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Laverne Cox Urges Action on South Dakota’s Transgender Bill

22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards - Arrivals
Gregg DeGuire—WireImage/Getty Images Actress Laverne Cox arrives at the 22nd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 30, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.

"We should be creating safer, nurturing environments for our children"

Correction appended, Feb. 24

Laverne Cox has weighed in against a South Dakota bill that would prohibit transgender students from using bathrooms other than those corresponding to their “biological sex,” sharing a message on Instagram and calling on the governor to veto the bill.

Cox, the actress known for her role in Orange is the New Black and for her activism on transgender issues, shared a photo of Thomas Lewis, a South Dakota student who spoke out about his experience at a high school where he was required to use a bathroom based on his sex at birth, not the gender he identifies with.

“Let’s urge the South Dakota governor to veto H.B. 1008, the bill that ostracizes trans students and targets them for even more harassment and bullying,” Cox wrote on Instagram. “Studies show that 78% of trans students experience harassment or bullying in school and nearly 50% attempt suicide. We should be creating safer, nurturing environments for our children not more hostile ones. Sign the petition to urge the South Dakota governor to veto this bill.”

South Dakota Governor Dennis Daugaard is currently weighing whether to veto or sign the bill. The measure would require schools to provide “reasonable accommodation” for transgender students–which could, for example, include single-occupancy bathrooms.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly described the South Dakota legislation. It would prohibit transgender students from using bathrooms other than those corresponding to their “biological sex,” while also requiring schools to provide “reasonable accommodation” for transgender students.

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