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Olathe Schools calls out Kris Kobach after AG claims district 'transitions' students

Transgender Birth Certificates Kansas
Posted at 3:59 PM, Feb 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-08 17:35:44-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Olathe School District is taking umbrage at a release earlier Thursday from Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach in which the AG suggested the district "socially transitions" students without parents' knowledge.

Kobach’s release suggested that four school districts — Olathe, Shawnee Mission, Kansas City, Kansas, and Topeka — some of the largest districts in the state, are violating parental rights by allegedly adopting policies that “hide” from parents information about how their children are identifying themselves at school.

“Parents should know, and have an opportunity to be involved in, such an important aspect of their well-being,” Kobach said in Thursday’s release.

In response, the Olathe School District said they developed “internal administrative guidelines” for staff and administrators to use on a case-by-case basis, but no formal policy has ever existed or been approved by the Board of Education.

“As a district, it is always our intent and practice to work directly and partner with individual families and students as situations arise to ensure we are providing the appropriate and necessary support,” the district’s statement reads. “We trust our staff to put the best interests of families and students at the heart of every decision.”

Kobach says he initially notified six school districts “early last year” about his concerns over their policies.

The district says the first communication they received from Kobach’s office was on Dec. 11, 2023.

The district says they’ve attempted to meet with Kobach’s office several times since then to “discuss any misinterpretations and/or miscommunication” that Kobach had on the topic.

The two parties were unable to make a meeting on Feb. 2, 2024, but the district said it has offered several other dates later this month and in March to meet with Kobach’s office.

“The district stands available to meet at any of these times,” the statement read. “Olathe Public Schools is obligated to follow federal law to support our students, staff and families.”