On Friday, the Obama administration issued a set of guidelines directing public schools to respect the gender identity of transgender students or risk losing out on federal funding under Title IX.
The response from Florida has been noticeably quiet. Both Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi haven't commented on the guidelines directly and have only said the they're reviewing the issue. Well, that isn't enough for State Rep. Janet Adkins, R-Fernandina Beach.
Adkins, the outgoing chair of the state Houses's K-12 Education Subcommittee, issued a letter to Bondi today demanding that the attorney general
Coincidentally, Adkins, who is term limited, is currently running for superintendent in Nassau County in North Florida.
"It is clear that the Obama administration is once again circumventing the Congress and even its own federal rule-making process to impose new federal rules and laws on Florida’s public schools," Adkins said in a statement this morning according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Aside from challenging the constitutionality of the administration's directive, Adkins also waded into murky questions about what it means to be transgender.
"The issues surrounding transgender conduct could reasonably allow students to alter their gender identification multiple times through the course of the year or to simply announce that they identify with both genders and hence should be given access to both male and female locker rooms and restrooms," she stated in her letter to Bondi.
She claims that it is "illogical" for a parent to allow a minor child to change their gender and claimed that allowing "people to make decisions based on how they identify their gender creates a chaotic environment for the school administrators."
Adkins, however, is not alone in Florida in challenging the directive. Clay County School Superintendent Charlie Van Zant Jr. issued a YouTube statement earlier this weekend declaring that his district would ignore the guidelines.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Van Zant is the son of Rep. Charles Van Zant, a man who once worried that Common Core would force children into being "as homosexual as they can be."
Mary Thomas, a Republican candidate for Florida's second congressional district, is also out with a new radio ad calling the guidelines "outrageous."
Bondi and Scott are still sticking to their "we're reviewing it" line.
The pushback against transgender rights among some corners of Florida's Republican party comes in the same week that Republican Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the longest serving member of Florida's congressional delegation, starred in a PSA advocating for transgender rights. Ros-Lehtinen has a transgender son.