by Max Brantley
Governor Asa Hutchinson today released the following statement in response to the “guidance” on gender identification in schools issued by President Obama, the U.S. Department of Education and the Justice Department:We haven't heard reports of problems at Arkansas schools, which doesn't mean they haven't occurred. But I can tell the governors that problems DO exist. Witness a biological woman who presents in appearance as a man who was angrily challenged when entering a women's restroom at the state Capitol. This kind of hysteria is afoot in the land and it is only abetted by Hutchinson's demagoguery.
"The recent letter from the federal government providing guidance to Arkansas schools on gender identification is offensive, intrusive and totally lacking in common sense. There is no recognizable problem in Arkansas on this issue. The federal government is stirring the pot and meddling in the local control and administration of our schools.
"As Governor, I recommend that local school districts disregard the latest attempt at social engineering by the federal government and continue to use common sense to ensure a safe and healthy environment in Arkansas schools. While the letter implies federal money could be withheld, the letter is nothing more than guidance and is not legally binding."
Does he believe students should be allowed to use facilities according to their gender identity or not?
Thank you @AsaHutchinson 4 common sense statement on Obama Admin's ridiculous & misguided "guidance" on gender ID in public schools.Griffin and Hutchinson are lawyers. They should know federal court precedent says that laws against discrimination based on sex apply to transgender people. It is ridiculous and misguided to obey the law? It is cruel to encourage people to make life even more difficult for the tiny number of people, particularly children, who are affected.
UALR has a long-standing policy against discrimination. When the federal or state government issues a directive such as this one, the university will comply with the ruling.Michael Poore, the new Little Rock School District superintendent, danced around a question on the issue, according to an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette account. He said good district work with "these families," presumably those with transgender children, "to understand what their needs are."
“The President is taking his abuse of power to a new level today by forcing a liberal social agenda on school-age children,” said Attorney General Rutledge. “This radical and outrageous policy drastically expands the federal government’s role in our local schools and raises serious safety concerns for students and parents. Threatening local districts with a loss of funding unless they comply with this non-binding ‘guidance’ is potentially disruptive to the entire education process and lacks all common sense. These bullying and blackmail tactics are unlawful and unconscionable.Safety concerns? Not a single one has yet been demonstrated, though millions of students attend schools in more enlightened places.
“I stand with Governor Hutchinson in urging local districts to disregard this latest attempt from the administration to force a social agenda on the states. I will also work with my colleagues across the country to determine if legal action against this directive is necessary in order to keep our students safe.”
"Governor Hutchinson's comments that a directive protecting the rights transgender students in public schools is 'offensive' reminds us why such clarity from the federal government is needed. LGBT citizens across Arkansas are too familiar being left out of protections under state law and depending on the federal government to ensure their most basic rights are protected. Governor Hutchinson should recognize that generations of civil rights movements relied on the U.S. government for clarity lacking in state law and were necessary to achieve full equality."