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Kansas Board Of Education Delays Vote On Motion Opposing Federal Transgender Rules

Axelboldt/Wikipedia public domain

The Kansas Board of Education decided not to vote on Tuesday for a motion condemning new federal guidelines for transgender students. The federal rules say transgender students should be allowed to use a bathroom that matches their gender identity.

Kansas Board of Ed member Ken Willard calls the policies “federal overreach.” The motion would have requested lawmakers and the governor take action to fight the guidelines. Willard says he generally opposes federal rules trumping local control, but he specifically mentioned the transgender guidelines.

“Because if accepted, supported and implemented by this body, it could be veritable straw that broke the camel’s back and result in the destruction of the traditional American public schools,” Willard says.

Others on the board didn’t agree with that sentiment.

Board member Deena Horst was concerned that approving the resolution would send the message that they agree with a so-called bathroom bill considered by Kansas lawmakers this year. Horst says that bill lets the state take local control away from school districts.

They’ll consider the issue again next month.

Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio and the Kansas News Service, a collaboration of KCUR, KMUW, Kansas Public Radio and High Plains Radio covering health, education and politics.