- Associated Press - Saturday, June 4, 2016

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - A measure that would have pushed back against the Obama administration’s directive to let transgender students use bathrooms that match their gender identity has failed on a tied vote by the Nebraska Board of Education.

The resolution failed Friday on a 3-3 vote, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (https://bit.ly/1U58jYj ). Two board members were absent.

The resolution would have let school districts “use their best discretion” in deciding whether to adopt the guidelines, and to do so only after “gathering input from teachers and parents whose children will be affected.”

Omaha board member Pat McPherson drafted the resolution in reaction to guidelines on Title IX recently released by the Obama administration that say schools receiving federal education funding must allow transgender students to use restrooms and locker rooms according to their expressed gender.

The proposal drew a crowd to the board’s meeting Friday, with some saying the federal guidelines amounted to bullying of local school districts, while others accused supporters of the measure of trying to sanction discrimination.

A lawsuit has been filed by 11 states against the Obama administration over the mandate. In Nebraska, Gov. Pete Ricketts has urged schools to reject the guidelines.

JohnCarl Denokovich, a member of a Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network group in Millard, attended Friday’s board meeting, saying he sought to protect transgender students. He did not dwell on the fact that the measure died for a lack of a majority.

“A technicality that results in a win is still a win,” he said.

McPherson and fellow board members John Witzel of Papillion and Glen Flint of Springfield voted for the resolution. Board members Rachel Wise of Oakland, Lillie Larsen of Lincoln, and Pat Timm of Beatrice voted against it. Molly O’Holleran of North Platte and Maureen Nickels of Chapman were absent.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, https://www.journalstar.com


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