The Kansas State Board of Education has approved a statement that says federal transgender guidelines for schools remove local control.
The statement doesn’t say schools should defy the rules or ignore the needs of transgender students. Instead, it says Kansas schools have already been accommodating transgender students, and decisions on how to do that should be made by local districts, not the federal government. Jim McNiece, the board chairman, drafted the statement.
“School districts in the state of Kansas are accommodating the needs of their students and providing a safe environment. The federal government really doesn’t need to come to Kansas and help us out,” says McNiece.
The motion passed on a 10-0 vote.
The federal guidelines say students should be able to use the bathroom and locker room that meets their gender identity. McNiece says policies in Kansas already allow school districts to make those decisions to accommodate students.
The board considered a stronger statement last month that condemned the federal guidelines, but decided instead to wait and address the issue at their meeting this month.