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Idaho officials are pushing back against the Obama administration’s demand that schools allow transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. The following statements were made by Idaho elected officials in response to the latest federal demands.

Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter:

This vast overreach by the Obama administration once again shows the federal government’s disregard for states’ rights and local control of our schools. This federal ‘guidance’ dictates solutions to very personal and sensitive matters that should be left to local school administrators, school boards, teachers, parents, students and communities. This action creates needless concern and confusion for students, parents and educators. Threatening to withhold federal Title IX funding for failure to comply with this offensive attempt at social engineering only harms our children. It is unwarranted, unprecedented, and unacceptable. We will explore every available option to ensure that the rights of all Idaho students are protected and that the citizens of Idaho maintain authority over our public education system. I do not believe this Washington, D.C., power play will withstand the legal challenges that are sure to come.

Lt. Governor Brad Little:

This action is yet another example of unreasonable executive branch overreach. As the Obama administration has done before, and will probably do again, the President is stretching the true meaning of the gender equality law for public schools to go around Congress and impose his own agenda on individual states and local school districts. The Obama administration’s disregard for local control in education removes the ability for local school administrators, school boards, teachers and parents to come up with solutions to these highly sensitive matters. We need to leave important decisions in the hands of local communities and not the bureaucrats in D.C.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Sherri Ybarra:

This is yet another example of an extreme top-down approach that won’t change day-to-day bathroom use – schools in Idaho are already following bathroom procedures set forth by the U.S. Department of Education. Idaho schools and communities know their students best, and know that each individual students’ needs are unique. Our schools and communities will continue to meet those needs in a manner which is respectful and supportive to all, regardless of their situation. As I have stated before, this is another example of local control. Further, shame on this administration for using our most vulnerable students and threatening the loss of Title I money in a time when funding for education is already a tense topic, especially for our over 70% rural school districts.

What are your thoughts on this controversial issue? Should Idahoans be threatened with the loss of federal money if they don’t comply with D.C.’s demands? More broadly, should transgender students be allowed to use the bathroom of their choice or should they be required to use the one matching the sex listed on their birth certificate?