Monday, March 23, 2015

Kentucky High School Students Lobbying in Frankfort on Student Voice Bill

The six-thousand high school students in Kentucky who participate in the Y Club have been closely following the fate of the Student Voice Bill.  That's the bill to include a student on school superintendent search committees (school boards would retain the power to ultimately pick the superintendent).

As I have written previously, the Student Voice Bill enjoyed almost unanimous bi-partisan support.  Then two Republicans tarted it up with extraneous -- and controversial-- amendments.

Many high school students are in Frankfort today to demonstrate support for the bill.  Even students from private schools, who would not be directly affected by the bill, are in Frankfort calling for a vote on a clean bill minus the controversial amendments.

It now looks like Sen. Embry will drop his amendment, the so-called "Bathroom Bill" (requiring transgender students to use the restroom that reflects their biological status, not preference).  Good for Sen. Embry.  Regardless of one's opinion of the Bathroom Bill, it deserves to pass or fail on its own; attaching it to the Student Voice Bill was just tainting the Republican brand for the students who had worked so hard to get the Student Voice Bill as far as it came this session.

Unfortunately, it appears that Sen. Robinson is not prepared to withdraw his amendment regarding religious speech in schools.  Again, the issue is not Robinson's religious speech bill but rather his cynical use of the School Voice Bill to try to get it enacted.  Robinson needs to take the long view:  he is seriously angering students who, if not now eligible to vote, will be eligible shortly.  Robinson is making Republicans look like jerks in front of the next generation of voters.  Someone please talk some sense into him.

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