Education LGBT

Lawmakers Want Broke Kansas to Pay Students to Snitch on Transgender Peers

Yes, this is the third post here today related to transphobia, but what can I say? Republicans are obsessed with confronting this non-existent threat.

Republicans in Kansas have fought tooth and nail to avoid funding education at a level that is constitutional, even going so far as to threaten the entire state judiciary including the state Supreme Court, but there's always money for enforcing bigotry.

State lawmakers have introduced bills to restrict transgender bathroom use and go a step further by paying kids to snitch on their peers for using the "wrong" bathroom.

The “Student Physical Privacy Act” would apply not only to public schools, but all public universities in the state as well, guaranteeing that anyone who saw someone transgender in the bathroom could sue their school for $2,500 for every time that it happened.

The complementary bills (SB 513 and HB 2737) declare in no uncertain terms that transgender students are going to harm other students just by using the same facility alongside them. “Allowing students to use restrooms, locker rooms and showers that are reserved for students of a different sex will create potential embarrassment, shame, and psychological injury to students,” they read.

There's nothing funny about this but I could hardly blame you for laughing if you're familiar with recent Kansas history.

Local school systems sued the state because they were not provided enough funding to adequately care for disadvantage students. The local systems won in court and the legislature responded by cutting education even more to a point where schools were forced to close for the year early. The state government appealed the decision but the lower court ruling was recently affirmed by the state Supreme Court.

Lawmakers have responded to each court decision instructing them to provide more funding for education by threatening the judiciary.

These same lawmakers who can't be bothered to fund education want the same schools to be forced to pay their students for acting as the Transphobic Bathroom Gestapo. And where is that money going to come from?

It should be repeated as many times as it needs to be: this is not a real threat! No one is pretending to be transgender just to spy on people in the bathrooms or locker rooms. There isn't a single documented case of a transgender student sexually assaulting another student in the bathroom. They aren't in there for any other reason than to do their business just like everyone else. Being transgender is not synonymous with being deviant predator.

Personally I'd say these lawmakers are the bigger threat. They're the ones jeopardizing the futures of an entire generation by cutting education to the bone.

The bill introduced by state lawmakers may sound familiar because a lawmaker in Kentucky introduced similar legislation last year. Kentucky state Senator C.B. Embry introduced a bill to force schools to pay students $2,500 for each report.

I'm obviously not a constitutional law professor but these proposals seem like a wildly unconstitutional breach of privacy to me. In any case, the bills being considered in Kansas would violate Title IX and open the state up to numerous federal lawsuit. Who will pay for that?