by By Chas Sisk, Nashville Public Radio - Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam is criticizing the Obama administration for weighing in on which bathrooms transgender students use.
Haslam says the guidance issued Friday by the U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education is "heavy-handed," and decisions should be made on a case-by-case basis. The Obama administration is telling schools they break federal laws against sex discrimination if they don't let students use the bathroom of the gender they identify with.
That's the opposite of what Tennessee lawmakers tried to do during the legislative session, when they attempted to pass a law that would've made transgender students use the bathroom of their birth sex. Haslam says his advice is the same to both the feds and state lawmakers: Leave the issue to local authorities.
"When the long arm of government reaches in, in cases like this, I don't think the answers are necessarily better than letting our local school boards and superintendents deal with it," he said. But Haslam is striking a less defiant tone than other Republican governors. They've described the guidance as "blackmail" and urged Congress to step in.
My Comment: I agree with Gov. Haslam that this issue should be left to the local school boards and superintendents to deal with. I wish, however, Gov. Haslam would show a little more outrage about the government blackmail of the states and unconstitutional exercise of authority.