Public schools in Oklahoma will soon be allowed to offer private lessons to boys or girls.
Public school districts are considering whether they can use a state law that allows them to open and close schools at will to cater for a gender balance that is not the norm.
They are also considering whether private lessons can be offered to pupils.
But the Oklahoma Board of Education said the law would not apply to schools run by religious institutions.
The new rules also mean schools could not open until after 9:00pm on weekdays and from 9:30am on Saturdays and Sundays.
Boys can be assigned to a private school.
Girls can be sent to a regular school.
State officials said the new rules will protect girls from being ostracised from the wider school community for being transgender.
‘We’re not going to let anybody stand in the way of this’The Oklahoma Education Department has been monitoring the proposal since it was announced in May.
State officials have said the changes are necessary to avoid an all-boys school.
But the state board’s Republican majority has opposed the changes.
Republican Governor Mary Fallin says the changes would not make Oklahoma safer for girls.
‘We need to look at this in the context of other things, like making sure our children have a safe and nurturing home environment and that they have a loving family, but not in the same way that we have a gender binary where boys are in charge and girls are not,’ she said.’
We’ve got to think about all of the children, all of our kids, and we’re not getting there.
We’ve got a long way to go to make our schools safer and more inclusive for all children, not just for boys.’
Republican state Representative Kevin Cramer said the legislation was a ‘bad idea’ that would harm the state’s economy and would make it harder for the state to attract high-quality teachers.’
I don’t think we should be promoting gender binary beliefs and trying to force children to conform to a male or female gender,’ he said.
Schools will be allowed, however, to open for classes at 10am and close for classes by 10pm.