PIERRE, S.D. (AP/WCCO) — A Senate panel is set to debate a bill that would require students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their biological sex at birth.

The Senate Education committee is scheduled to consider the measure Thursday. The state House of Representatives has approved the plan.

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As shown in video posted by the Argus Leader, State Sen. David Omdahl (R-Sioux Falls) defended the bill last weekend during a Legislative coffee panel.

“This is definitely a good bill,” Omdahl said. “What’s this about? This is about protecting our children. And I’m sorry if you’re so twisted you don’t even know who you are.”

The crowd reacted to Omdahl’s comments, but he continued.

“I don’t even understand where our society is these days. I look at what’s going on in the military, etc., and they’re treating the wrong part of the anatomy,” he said, pointing to his forehead. “They ought to be treating it up here.”

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Advocates say the bill is meant to protect the privacy of students. Schools must provide “reasonable accommodations” for transgender students’ needs under the plan.

Accommodations include a single-occupancy bathroom or the “controlled use” of a staff-designated restroom, locker room or shower room.

Democrats have criticized the measure, calling it government overreach.

Some legislators this session are also attempting again to void a high school activities association policy allowing transgender student athletes to request playing on the team of their choice.

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