2016-05-25 / Front Page

Student safety first!

“We will carefully consider policy before making recommendations or taking actions,” State School Superintendent Richard Woods said in a statement Friday to the state’s school superintendents. “With that said, my first priority is to ensure our schools are a safe environment for students.”

“I believe there are safety concerns associated with allowing students of different genders to use the same bathroom. For that reason, I do not believe a student of another gender should use a restroom alongside students of the opposite sex.”

“We applaud Mr. Woods’ stance,” stated School Superintendent Bronwyn Ragan-Martin. “While we strive to respect and meet the needs of all students, we don’t believe mixing genders in restrooms is the right thing to do. Our first priority remains the safety of our students.”

Woods further stated, “We do not need the executive branch of the federal government crossing the line and breaching its constitutional authority. The issuing of such a blanket statement by the President was very irresponsible. We will not allow the federal government to bully us. Schools in Georgia have and will continue to appropriately address concerns surrounding this and many other issues. Our schools will do the right thing.”

Woods further stated, “The Georgia Department of Education believes the ‘Dear Colleague Letter’ openly violates, misinterprets and moves to rewrite established U.S. law. This overreach of power by the Executive Branch of the federal government is compounded by the threat to withhold federal funds should the context of the letter not be followed.”

“As this guidance does not have the force of law, you are not required to comply with this directive or make changes to your established actions and policies.”

“However, if the federal government does decide to withhold federal funds, enforce this directive, or bring suit against any district in Georgia because of a decision a local district makes, we will work with all parties to take appropriate action.”

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