Protesters urge JCPS school board to not comply with SB 150

Protesters urge JCPS school board to not comply with SB 150
Published: May. 23, 2023 at 11:29 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Senate Bill 150 prevents schools from keeping student information secret from parents, using students’ preferred pronouns, and limits the teaching of human sexuality.

State lawmakers passed the bill despite a veto by Governor Beshear.

On Monday, protestors asked the JCPS school board to not comply with the law.

The protest started outside the VanHoose Education Center, with dozens of people showing their support for trans kids.

Chants, dances, and speeches from experienced activists to 3rd graders.

“I want my teachers to respect my pronouns and be who I really am,” a JCPS 3rd grader said. “At my school, we have a no bullying rule. House Bill 150 is bullying by the state.”

All of them were urging the JCPS school board to not comply with the bill.

“Our schools are not yet safe for trans kids and what we need is to make them safer, not less safe,” JCPS educator Sonja Wilde-Devries said.

Educators like Wilde-Devries joined the crowd to make sure their voice was heard.

“We consider it a form a bullying, which JCPS is supposed to be very against,” Wilde-Devries said.

After the speeches, the protestors made their way into the building and in front of the school board.

They asked the board to not comply with the law.

“If you want to protect children and their lives, do not comply with SB 150. Please defend trans youths,” one person said.

“The board must do whatever it can within the law and beyond to protect these kids and their right to organize, as we’ve seen them graciously do,” said another. “We must do whatever we can be regardless of the law to protect these kids.”

After the meeting, JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio said the district agrees with much of what was said, but it puts them in a tough position.

“We share in their concerns, however, this is a law that has been passed which makes it very challenging for us,” Pollio said.

When asked if the district is prepared to not comply with the law, Pollio said it’s not as simple as complying or not complying.

“JCPS, yes the entity we could say that, but each teacher, and principal, according to SB 150 has some responsibility in this,” Pollio said. “So that hard part about this from my understanding legally there could be some issues around teacher certifications moving forward.”

Pollio said they have to make sure they protect their students, but they also have a responsibility to protect their staff.

They’ve been given very little guidance about how everything going to work, and they’re concerned about following the law as well as the federal laws that “run up against it.”