Yesterday, the Kentucky General Assembly rushed to pass Senate Bill 150, a sweeping and harmful piece of anti-LGBTQIA+ legislation.
Kentucky has real educational challenges that need the legislature’s attention. These include meaningful solutions to our educator and staff shortages, support to continue our academic recovery from the pandemic, funding stabilization due to ongoing health-related absences (COVID-19, RSV and flu), as well as urgent funding needs in growing school districts.
But instead of addressing the real issues impacting our schools, the legislature expended its time and energy on this stitched-together bill, taking aim directly at LGBTQIA+ people.
The bill contains provisions that will put our young people at risk, have the government interfere with decisions between doctors, patients and families and puts Kentucky at the front of a series of similar hateful, ignorant and shameful efforts around the country.
These kinds of laws are often put in place when there is (effectively) a one-party government. Minority and marginalized groups are frequently targeted, demonized and persecuted – fueling more of the misplaced rage and anger-tainment based politics that makes it nearly impossible for Kentucky to live up to our state motto of “United We Stand.”
The Kentucky legislature is following a terrifying, but sadly well-trodden path. In the long run, history does not reflect well on such regimes. And in the short-run, we should all be concerned about who will be their next target.
To LGBTQIA+ people and youth in Kentucky – we see you, we love you and we will continue to protect you from bullying and bigotry. In times like these, we all must find the courage to steady ourselves and to be as brave as we can.
To that end, I am pleased to announce that this fall, the Kentucky Department of Education will be holding a summit in support of LGBTQIA+ people and youth. More details will be forthcoming. Our focus will be on resilience, connection and hope.
With love and great resolve,
Jason E. Glass, Ed.D.
Commissioner and Chief Learner
Kentucky Department of Education
Thank you, Dr. Glass, for reminding us all that there are still people brave enough to stand up for the most vulnerable, even when that standing up comes at such a great cost.
Thank you, Commissioner Glass, for your leadership; it reminds me that there are heroes among us with the courage to speak the truth.
These children have waited for years to be acknowledged and defended. It’s unfortunate his voice came so late, but I applaud Dr. Glass, who at great personal risk, has acknowledged and condemned the dangerous path many Kentucky politicians have chosen to follow. Anti-trans laws will lead to needless suffering and loss of life.
Thanks, Commissioner, for your very astute comments. A regime it certainly is, unrivaled in modern history for the callous cruelty and inhumane legislation emanating from its houses. I applaud your idea for a summit this fall and will do anything I can to help.
This is truth. This is leadership. I look forward to hearing more about the summit in the fall and the Department of Education serving the true needs of all students, including the LGBTQIA+ students that the KY legislature wants to identify as “Other” and persecute.
This is the highest and best form of leadership. It is not only in today’s Russia or China that courageous moral leaders pay drastic personal costs. The passage of SB 107 means now there will be state Senate confirmation of Kentucky’s Education Commissioners in a dismal return to pre-KERA politics. There is every reason to believe Commissioner Glass will sacrifice a great deal for his tempered but insistent and wise efforts. I cannot applaud Commissioner Glass enough.