Last week we wrote about a radical, new set of “guidelines” the Obama Administration’s Department of Education and Department of Justice issued concerning, among other things, gender-identity and public school restrooms.
I want to take a moment to highlight the fact that, among many others, Governor Asa Hutchinson and Attorney General Leslie Rutledge are standing up against the Obama Administration’s radical reinterpretation of federal law.
Governor Hutchinson issued a statement last week, saying,
“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.”
Attorney General Leslie Rutledge issued a statement, saying,
“The President is taking his abuse of power to a new level today by forcing a liberal social agenda on school-age children. 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.
“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.”
I realize many in Arkansas and across the nation have spoken out against the “guidelines” the federal government issued last week, and I am extremely grateful to them.
I think it is especially important to highlight Gov. Hutchinson’s and A.G. Rutledge’s opposition. As Governor of the State of Arkansas, Gov. Hutchinson is the state’s chief executive, and as Attorney General of the State of Arkansas, A.G. Rutledge is the state’s attorney. Their leadership will be important if the State of Arkansas and the federal Department of Education end up going toe-to-toe over these radical, new “guidelines” from the federal government.