The Kentucky Department of Education is warning schools not to enforce anti-LGBTQ rules

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The Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) released guidance Monday to help school districts implement A sweeping anti-LGBTQ law was passed last month.

new law, Senate Bill 150requires school districts to create new policies that LGBTQ advocates say will harm students, including rules banning transgender students from using school bathrooms and locker rooms that match their gender.

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KDE Guidelines It highlights possible conflicts of the new law with the existing one Federal protections around gender discrimination And Student privacy.

“I understand that this guidance does not answer all of the questions you may have,” Kentucky Commissioner of Education Jason Glass wrote in a letter to school districts.

Parts of the bill “leave a lot of unknowns about how these laws will be enacted in schools,” Glass said.

“Some questions may eventually be decided in court or through clarification of future legislation,” he wrote.

The Kentucky Civil Liberties Union and other groups have vowed to fight portions of SB 150 in court. At least one lawsuit has been filed by a local activist.

No more sex education for the fifth grader

The new section’s guidelines advise districts to stop giving fifth-graders instructions they were receiving about reproductive body parts and the changes that occur during puberty.

This is because SB 150 prohibits instruction related to human sexuality or STDs in fifth grade and below.

The new law will force the department to change the current fifth-grade academic standard, which requires students to learn about “essential male and female reproductive body parts and their functions as well as the physical, social, and emotional changes that occur during puberty.”

The directive also tells cantons that under the new law they must not provide instructions at any level about “gender identity, gender expression or sexual orientation”.

“Districts will need to review existing courses, programming, instructional resources, and learning experiences to ensure compliance, including, but not limited to health education curricula, advanced placement courses, dual credit courses and extracurricular activities,” the guidance reads.

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The department’s guidance is light on detail when describing how districts will implement new restrictions on transgender students’ access to bathrooms and locker rooms, while noting that new state law may conflict with federal rules.

“Education districts must remain aware of the legal landscape applicable to transgender students, including current and proposed Title IX regulations,” the guidance states. The document refers to a 2004 Sixth Circuit Court Decision in which the court ruled that the police department could not discriminate against a trans employee on the basis of her gender.

“Districts should consult with Board counsel for legal advice regarding policies required by SB 150 and potential liability concerns,” the document says.

The KDE also advises districts to stay aware of federal protections when considering policies regarding student consciences.

SB 150 stripped the administration of the authority to make any of its own guidelines about pronouns. Conservative lawmakers launched numerous attacks on Glass On previous guidance from KDE advising schools to use students’ “preferred” pronouns.

Confusion regarding student privacy

The guidance notes potential conflicts between federal privacy law and a provision in SB 150 that prohibits districts from establishing policies “with the intent of preserving student information confidential from parents.”

The guide states, “This section creates some confusion as to student privacy.”

The document notes that the definition of “parent” in state law conflicts with the definition of “parent” in the federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

KDE also notes that once students turn 18, they have different privacy rights than younger students, a wrinkle not addressed in SB 150.

“To the extent there is any conflict between SB 150 and FERPA, counties must comply with FERPA,” the directive reads.

Because lawmakers wrote an “emergency clause” into SB 150, parts of the law went into effect immediately after lawmakers overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto.