Opinion Columns & Blogs

State board’s transgender statement sensitive in defiance

The Kansas State Board of Education’s unanimous approval Tuesday of a statement about the Obama administration’s transgender directive made news for its defiance. But the language, credited to board chairman Jim McNiece of Wichita, also stands out for the concern it shows for transgender students, who often endure harassment at school. It says in part that the state board “believes that every child has the right to a high-quality education delivered within a safe, inclusive and supportive school system. In Kansas, like many other states, our schools have been addressing transgender student needs with sensitivity and success for many years. Just as every child is unique, so too is every school community. With that understanding, 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. The recent directive from the civil rights offices of the United States Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice regarding the treatment of transgender students removes the local control needed to effectively address this sensitive issue.” – Rhonda Holman