While Activists Urge School Board To Ignore Legislation, JCPS Makes Its Decision Tonight

Tonight, Tuesday, July 25, Jefferson County Public Schools will meet for its regularly scheduled work session. On the agenda will be JCPS deciding whether or how to implement policies according to Senate Bill 150, the state legislation that blocks gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth and sets rules for bathrooms and using pronouns for the educational environment. The bill also says that for a school that teaches material on human sexuality, abstinence and monogamy should be included and that no child in grades five or below receive any instruction on human sexuality. This bill does not seem to make a provision for the physical development and personal care instruction that some kids will require such as how to take care of the onset of menstruation. 

The JCPS Board is deciding between ignoring the state’s law as it feels it violates the First Amendment or trying to adopt policies that accommodate the legislation. The bill became law on March 29.

JCPS expects that either decision will result in legal action. According to the Courier Journal, JCPS general counsel Kevin Brown said it a committee meeting that, “We are, unfortunately in a situation due to some of the drafting in the bill… there is going to be litigation no matter which version of the policy we adopt.” This could mean parents filing lawsuits or legal action from the state.

Activists like Former State Representative Attica Scott call the policy “oppressive” and “bullying” and are asking for JCPS to ignore the bill. 

According to Chris Hartman, Executive Director of the Fairness Campaign, their organization will be at the meeting this evening in hopes to protect transgender youth.

“It is my hope that the school board does everything in its power to fight back against Senate Bill 150, protect transgender kids, and preserve the federal protections for trans students that already exist in Title IX,” said Hartman in a statement to LEO.  “Anything less will be a devastating blow to trans youth and their families, who do not deserve to live in the fear and uncertainty SB150 has created.”

The meeting starts at 5 p.m. at the VanHoose Education Center (3332 Newburg Rd.) in the Stewart Auditorium. According to the school board website, “Members of the public may attend in-person or watch the live stream.”

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