Representatives: Delaware transgender proposal seeks to impose ‘politically motivated’ ideology

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following letter was sent to Delaware Secretary of Education Susan Bunting in regard to proposed Regulation 225 that would let students self-identify their gender or race without parental knowledge or consent.

Get another take on the regulation with a commentary written by Lisa Goodman of Equality Delaware in Monday’s Delaware State News.

I need to express my opposition to the regulation the Department of Education is proposing to change the state’s public education anti-discrimination policy regarding transgender students.

Delaware’s Gender Identity Nondiscrimination Act of 2013 forbids discrimination on the basis of gender identity in housing, employment, public works contracting, public accommodations, and insurance. The law was not applied to Title 14, which covers public education.

The exclusion of public education from this statute was deliberate, allowing school districts to objectively weigh their transgender student policies, in consultation with the citizens to which they are directly accountable.

The regulations proposed by your agency are not authorized under the law and seek to usurp local control in favor of imposing a politically motivated ideological solution on all public schools.

Just as disturbing, the proposed rules contain no student age threshold and have no provision for safeguarding parental involvement. As structured, these rules would allow the youngest of students to make profound life decisions without the knowledge or input of their parents.

Additionally, the DOE has apparently not assessed the potential risk these rules would impose on the general student population and the administrative and liability issues it could create for local schools.

Some advocates of these rules have said they are needed to protect transgender students from harassment, but students are already shielded by existing anti-bullying policies that apply to any student subjected to disrespectful or abusive treatment.

In summary, the DOE’s proposed regulations on transgender students lack the required legal authority needed for promulgation; would seize policy control from local districts; would remove parents from the process; and potentially expose local schools to significant civil liability issues.

I urge your department to immediately withdraw the proposed regulations, instead issuing a list of non-binding suggestions that local districts can factor into their deliberations as they decide best how to deal with this issue.

State Rep. Danny Short
State Rep. Harvey Kenton
State Rep. Lyndon Yearick
State Rep. Kevin Hensley
State Rep. Rich Collins
State Rep. Deborah Hudson
State Rep. Ruth Briggs King
State Rep. Charlie Postles
State Rep. Dave Wilson
State Rep. Ron Gray
State Rep. Jeff Spiegelman
State Rep. Bobby Outten
State Rep. Joe Miro
State Rep. Tim Dukes

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