Nation

SOUTH DAKOTA

Gov’t proposes ban on teaching gender ID

PIERRE — South Dakota lawmakers will consider banning public school teaching on gender identity in elementary and middle schools, a push that critics say targets transgender students in the same way some states limit the positive portrayal of homosexuality in the classroom.

The state would be the first in the nation to block instruction on gender identity or gender expression, said Nathan Smith, public policy director at GLSEN, a national group focused on safe schools for LGBTQ students. Republican Sen. Phil Jensen, the sponsor, said he has constituents concerned it might become an issue in schools. Jensen said he’s worried about teaching children topics that aren’t age-appropriate and that students are failing to master the basics.

WASHINGTON

Seattle moving to clear pot convictions

SEATTLE — Seattle officials said Thursday they’re moving to automatically clear past misdemeanor convictions for pot possession — a step announced by San Francisco last week.

City Attorney Pete Holmes, who was one of the sponsors of Washington’s 2012 ballot measure to legalize pot for recreational use, said he’s been pressing since it passed for a state law that would help clear prior convictions.