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Current Page: Politics | Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Kansas Board of Education Votes to Ignore Obama's Transgender Bathroom Directive

Kansas Board of Education Votes to Ignore Obama's Transgender Bathroom Directive

Children wash their hands in a bathroom at a nursery in Eichenau, near Munich, June 18, 2012. | (Photo: Reuters/Michaela Rehle)

Kansas' public schools will not adhere to President Barack Obama's transgender bathroom directive, thanks to a vote taken by state leadership.

In a unanimous vote, the state Board of Education approved a statement last week rejecting the Obama Administration's directive on transgender student bathroom guidelines.

"We are firm in our belief that decisions about the care, safety and well-being of all students are best made by the local school district based on the needs and desires of the students, parents and communities they serve," read the statement in part.

U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about the worst mass shooting in U.S. history that took place in Orlando, Florida, at the White House in Washington, U.S., June 12, 2016. | (Photo: Reuters/Joshua Roberts)

"In Kansas, like many other states, our schools have been addressing transgender student needs with sensitivity and success for many years."

In May, President Obama sent a non-legally binding letter to all public schools in the country, directing them to allow students to use whatever facilities correspond with their chosen gender identity. The letter threatened loss of funding to schools that don't comply.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News, President Obama argued that such a move was necessary to protect the dignity of transgendered individuals.

"We're talking about kids, and anybody who's been in school, been in high school, who's been a parent, I think should realize that kids who are sometimes in the minority — kids who have a different sexual orientation or are transgender — are subject to a lot of bullying, potentially they are vulnerable," said Obama.

"I think that it is part of our obligation as a society to make sure that everybody is treated fairly, and our kids are all loved, and that they're protected and that their dignity is affirmed."

The directive has prompted outcry from many state governors and others, with Texas leading ten other states in a lawsuit against the federal government over the directive.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, the lawsuit demanded that the directive be deemed "substantially unlawful" and "invalid."

"Plaintiffs include a diverse coalition of States, top State officials, and local school districts, spanning from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, and from the Grand Canyon to the Grand Isle, that stand behind the singular principle that the solemn duty of the Federal Executive is to enforce the law of the land, and not rewrite it by administrative fiat," read the complaint.

"Defendants have conspired to turn workplaces and educational settings across the country into laboratories for a massive social experiment, flouting the democratic process, and running roughshod over commonsense policies protecting children and basic privacy rights. Defendants' rewriting of Title VII and Title IX is wholly incompatible with Congressional text. Absent action in Congress, the States, or local communities, Defendants cannot foist these radical changes on the nation."

Kansas' Board of Education is not the only public school leadership rejecting the federal directive. In late May a Virginia school district passed an ordinance against the directive.

Grayson County School Board unanimously passed the ordinance saying that students could only use the bathroom that corresponded with their biological sex.

Grayson Superintendent Kelly Wilmore told LifeSite News in an interview that the ordinance was supported by the whole community, including Democrats.

"It wasn't the politics of just the Republican side … it was a lot of people on the other side of the fence too [who] are really having concerns with who has access to the bathrooms," stated Wilmore.

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