May 18, 2016
Following a letter from http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/may/17/mississippi-gop-reps-superintendent-should-oppose-/">Mississippi House GOP members, 27 Mississippi Senate GOP members have signed a letter penned to the Mississippi Board of Education and state superintendent Dr. Carey Wright, urging them to http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/news/2016/may/13/obama-administration-issues-guidance-schools-prote/">resist the White House directive to protect the rights of transgender students.
http://www.jacksonfreepress.com/weblogs/jackblog/2016/may/18/mississippi-department-of-education-stalls-on-whit/">This morning, Wright said that MDE would halt action on the directive pending a discussion with the State Board of Education.
Below is the text of the letter:
Dear MS Board of Education and Dr. Wright:
Members of the Mississippi Senate, along with our constituents and fellow Mississippians, stand with Governor Bryant and demand the Mississippi Department of Education disregard the joint guidance issued by the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice regarding Title IX funding and accommodations for students with gender dysphoria. The federal government is, in effect, trying to blackmail our state by implying that funding for public schools will be withheld should we continue to recognize biological sex when setting safety and privacy policies for our schools. Dr. Wright made the decision to usurp the board’s authority and unilaterally issue the policy decision to acquiesce to the illegal demands of the federal government. For this, the superintendent must be held accountable.
Section 203 of our state constitution establishes the Board of Education. The Board holds the sole responsibility to “formulate policies according to law for implementation by the State Department of Education.” Dr. Wright’s decision to forego the will of the Board and impose her political will on the entire state is fundamentally unconstitutional. It is the Board’s job to formulate policy, not the superintendent’s. Dr. Wright’s policy statement issued on May 13, 2016 is non-binding and should be immediately withdrawn.
Additionally, if Dr. Wright, in her capacity as State Superintendent of Education, does not recognize the danger that such an irresponsible policy decision will impose on the children of our state, then it is obvious that her ideals and values do not represent those of the state of Mississippi and the board should act accordingly. WE look forward to your swift and decisive action on the urgent matter and each of us stand ready to meet or speak with you if necessary.
Thank you in advance for your immediate attention on the issue.
Senate David L. Parker Senator Michael Watson Senator Kevin Blackwell Senator Jennifer Branning Senator Nicky Browning Senator Chris Caughman Senator Videt Carmichael Senator Lydia Chassaniol Senator Buck Clarke Senator Denise Dollar Senator Sally Doty Senator Joey Fillingane Senator Tommy Gollott Senator Josh Harkins Senator Angela Hill Senator Billy Hudson Senator Gary Jackson Senator Dean Kirby Senator Chris Massey Senator Chris McDaniel Senator Chad McMahon Senator Phillip Moran Senator Rita Parks Senator John Polk Senator Mike Seymour Senator Sean Tindell Senator Chuck Younger