KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Advocate says Arizona pronoun use in schools bill could cause serious consequences for students

A bill about pronoun usein public and charter schools is moving through the Arizona Legislature.

If an adult on campus refers to a student by a pronoun that differs from what was assigned at birth, the bill states they would have to inform the parents within five days.

Bre Thomas is the CEO of Affirm, which advocates for sexual and reproductive health care. 

"School is often a place where students will try things out and experiment along the lines of, I would like to use different pronouns they/them, or rather than, for me, she/her, I'd like to use he/him. And it's typically a safe place to be able to do that," Thomas said.

And she says students should be allowed to question their identity, “and be able to try things on so to speak and see what fits for them.”

The bill also would not require a school to force an employee or contractor to refer to a student by a different pronoun if it conflicts with that person’s religious or moral convictions.

She says this kind of legislation could put students who don’t have supportive parents at risk, adding that the bill is ripe for serious consequences.

Get more Arizona politics news

KJZZ senior field correspondent Kathy Ritchie has 20 years of experience reporting and writing stories for national and local media outlets — nearly a decade of it has been spent in public media.