Across America, local and state officials are pushing back very strongly against the Obama administration’s decree concerning transgender use of school bathrooms and locker rooms.
Pennsylvania lawmakers are the latest to criticize the Obama proclamation, which orders that schools “may not require transgender students to use facilities inconsistent with their gender identity or to use individual-user facilities when other students are not required to do so.”Nearly 100 legislators in the state expressed their outrage in a letter to the president asking him to rescind the order immediately.
The Pennsylvania letter became widely disseminated on Wednesday. At roughly the same time, officials in Mississippi indicated that the Magnolia State will not follow the guidance issued by the Obama administration.
Carey Wright, superintendent of Mississippi’s Department of Education, said her office will take no action until the department’s nine members discuss the issue, according to local ABC affiliate WAPT.
Last week, a Texas school district superintendent also blasted Obama’s directive. (RELATED: ‘He Is NOT A Leader’: Superintendent Loses It On Obama Over Transgender Bathroom Decree)
Arizona’s top education official, Diane Douglas, called Obama’s decree “yet another example of federal overreach negatively impacting our state’s schools,” according to EAGnews.org.
Georgia also has pushed back against the directive. Gov. Nathan Deal said the Obama administration’s guidance has generated “confusion and controversy” among students and amounts to “federal overreach,” reports the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The letter to Obama signed by dozens of Pennsylvania lawmakers charges that the Obama edict flatly violates federal law.
“We are writing to express our extreme outrage at the legally spurious ‘Dear Colleague’ letter issued jointly by the Department of Education and the Department of Justice on Friday, May 13, 2016, regarding the use of bathrooms by transgender students in public schools,” the letter begins.
“The issue of whether Title IX protects a student’s gender identity has already been decided by a federal court in Pennsylvania,” the missive then explains. “Title IX provides that educational programs cannot discriminate ‘on the basis of sex.’ In Johnson v. Univ. of Pittsburg Com. Sys. Of Higher Education, the federal court for the Western District Court of Pennsylvania found that Title IX’s language did not provide a basis for a transgender status claim.”
Title IX “clearly permit schools to provide students with certain sex-segregated spaces, including bathroom and locker room facilities, to perform certain private activities and bodily functions consistent with the individual’s birth sex,” the letter also says.
The Pennsylvania lawmakers call the ‘Dear Colleague’ letter an “unconstitutional intrusion by the federal government.” Bathroom use is obviously a local issue, they argue, which should be handled locally by school districts “who best know their students and parents.”
The letter also points out that the directive issued by the federal Department of Education and the Department of Justice “will allow men to go into legally sex-separated bathrooms with young girls. The parents of these young girls are rightly concerned about your policy and its implications for their daughters’ safety.”
The Department of Justice and Department of Education argue that Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, which was passed to prohibit education discrimination on the basis of sex, also protects transgender students.