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OK governor signs bill protecting students’ privacy, safety

Thursday, May 26, 2022

The following quote may be attributed to Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Sharp regarding Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt’s signing Wednesday of SB 615, a bill that preserves student privacy by requiring separate showers, locker rooms, and restrooms for boys and girls in Oklahoma schools:

“Schools have a duty to protect the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students. No child should be forced into private spaces with someone of the opposite sex. Across the country—including in Oklahoma—school districts have adopted policies that open shower facilities, locker rooms, and even overnight accommodations to members of the opposite sex. By preserving sex-specific showers, locker rooms, and restrooms while also providing reasonable accommodations to students who are unwilling or unable to use facilities designated for their sex, this law ensures that school policies respect the privacy rights of all children. We commend Gov. Stitt and the Oklahoma Legislature for protecting the privacy, safety, and dignity of all students.”

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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ABOUT Matt Sharp

Matt Sharp serves as senior counsel and state government relations national director with Alliance Defending Freedom, where he focuses on state and local legislative matters. Since joining ADF in 2010, Sharp has authored federal and state legislation, regularly provides testimony and legal analysis on how proposed legislation will impact constitutional freedoms, and advises governors, legislators, and state and national policy organizations on the importance of laws and policies that protect First Amendment rights. He has testified before the United States Congress on the importance of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Sharp has also worked on important cases advancing religious freedom and free speech. He has won cases upholding the rights of students to form religious clubs, invite classmates to church, and even perform a religious song at a school talent show. He authored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of nearly 9,000 students, parents, and community members asking the Court to uphold students’ right to privacy against government intrusion. Sharp earned his J.D. in 2006 from the Vanderbilt University School of Law. A member of the bar in Georgia and Tennessee, he is also admitted to practice in several federal courts.