South Dakota school districts reacting to Governor Noem’s executive orders regarding girls sports

PIERRE, S.D.(WNAX)- After the legislature failed to override the veto of HB1217, the trans-gender, women in sports fairness bill, Governor Kristi Noem issued a pair of Executive Orders mandating that K through 12 schools and universities carry out what was in the original bill.

Mark Froke, Superintendent in the Marion School District, says they are looking for clarification.

Froke says they are turning to their state associations for advice.

Froke says the school board and parents have been able to work through these issues in the past.

Department of Education Secretary Tiffany Sanderson issued a statement saying school districts are expected to follow the Executive Orders.

Watertown School District Superintendent Jeff Danielsen said the district is waiting for guidance from state officials before making any possible changes.

“We’re still waiting for what exactly the executive order means for us,” Danielsen said Wednesday, “It’s difficult to comment until we really know what the final outcome is on that.” 

Until the state issues further guidance, Danielsen said the Watertown district will continue to adhere to the SDHSAA’s policy allowing all students regardless of gender identity to participate in extracurricular activities of their choosing.

Becky Guffin, superintendent of Aberdeen public schools, deferred to the Department of Education and the governor’s office for any information concerning the executive orders.