TOPEKA (KSNT) – Kansas will join other states in challenging the new federal mandate that local schools recognize a student’s gender identity above their biological sex. Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt calls the Obama administration’s expansion of Title IX federal law “unlawful”.
Schmidt made the decision for the state to sue in a “direct challenge” after a federal appeals court declined to reconsider an earlier ruling upholding the legal reason behind the administration’s policy. In the case of Grimm v. Gloucester County School Board, a transgender student sued a local school board over its requirement that transgender students use the bathroom associated with their biological sex. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the school’s effort to provide a private, unisex bathroom was insufficient to satisfy Title IX, which prohibits “discrimination based on sex”.
“Today’s refusal by the appeals court in Virginia to reconsider its earlier flawed decision means our only option is to pursue a more direct challenge to the Obama administration’s unlawful efforts to unilaterally rewrite Title IX,” Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt said in a news release. Schmidt’s office accuses the Obama administration of “reinterpreting” the Title IX education amendments meant to prevent discrimination on the basis of sex, by applying the law to gender identity.
Schmidt says he’s consulted with Governor Sam Brownback who supports joining the federal fight. Now, Schmidt is reviewing whether to join the lawsuit filed by 11 other U.S. states led by Texas or file a separate but similar lawsuit on behalf of the Sunflower State.
“In our federal system of government, not every decision needs to be handed down from Washington, and this is a matter best left to state or local authorities, including school boards, as it traditionally has been – and as the law requires,” Schmidt said.