Wednesday, March 11, 2015
GOP Legislators Teach KY Students Cynicism
This is not helpful publicity for Kentucky. The Washington Post is covering the saga of the Prtichard Committee's Student Voice Project. That initiative resulted in proposed legislation to allow a high school student representative to serve on superintendent search committees. (School boards would still make the final selection.)
It has strong bipartisan support in both chambers. At the last minute, however, Republican legislators tacked on controversial and completely unrelated amendments that threaten to doom the bill.
Sen. C.E. Embry (R-Morgantown) added an amendment to ban transgender students from using school bathrooms other than what matches their anatomical gender.
Sen. Albert Robinson (R-London) added a bill to protect religious speech in schools.
The content of the amendments, and what one thinks about them, is beside the point. They have absolutely nothing to do with the Student Voice bill.
The students who drafted and have been testifying for the Student Voice bill are Kentucky's brightest. They are among the smartest, most articulate students in the state. These are kids we want to stay in the Commonwealth.
That two Republicans would destroy their hard work reflects very poorly on our party. This will have bad fall-out for the Republican Party's efforts to appeal to young people. Again, the underlying bill has broad bipartisan support. Pass it already.
High school students across the state are watching this. These are citizens who will be eligible to vote, in many instances, next year.
Embry and Robinson need to withdraw their amendments and fight those battles separately.