South Dakota bid to ban gender identity teaching shelved

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — A South Dakota lawmaker is dropping a plan that would have made the state the first to ban public schools from teaching about gender identity in elementary and middle schools.

Republican Sen. Phil Jensen rewrote his bill Thursday to drop any mention of transgender issues. A Senate panel killed the reshaped bill, which dealt with allowing standardized tests to be administered in paper or computerized form.

Jensen says he rewrote the legislation after realizing there were issues he hadn't thought of with his original idea.

He declined to offer more detail.

Critics say the original push targeted transgender students in the same way some states limit positively portraying homosexuality in the classroom.