Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler

Representing the 4th District of Missouri
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Hartzler, Pitts, Fleming to POTUS: mandate treats children as pawns in political agenda; urge withdrawal

May 13, 2016
Press Release

WASHINGTON—Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-Mo.), co-chair of the House Values Action Team (VAT), VAT Chairman Rep. Joe Pitts (R-Pa.), and VAT co-chair Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) sent a letter Friday to President Obama in response to the Obama Administration’s mandate forcing schools to allow boys to enter girls locker rooms and bathrooms, and vice versa.

The representatives released the following statements:

Rep. Hartzler: “This is the definition of intrusive overreach by the federal government. As a mother and former teacher, I am deeply concerned for the safety and wellbeing of students. As a citizen, I am appalled, but not surprised, this Administration would think it should dictate to our local schools how best to run their schools. Further, threatening to remove federal funding for schools jeopardizes our students’ educations and futures by robbing their schools of vital resources. Mandates such as this do not improve access or level playing fields; they only treat our children as pawns in this extreme political game where political correctness is placed above sound policy.”

Rep. Pitts: “This so-called guidance from the Department of Justice and Department of Education is in fact an edict and a major overreach into the educational environment of our children. To tell a teacher that he or she must allow a boy to enter a girl’s bathroom, simply because he says he identifies as another gender in the moment, opens the door for a wide array of abuse. This executive overreach, disguised as guidance, creates a newly protected class to whom the Administration has unilaterally decided Title IV regulations should apply.”

Rep. Fleming: "It is astounding that the Obama Administration is willing to trade a child’s education to further a political agenda that defies common sense, invades privacy, and is utterly lacking legal support.

Today’s U.S. Department of Justice and U.S. Department of Education guidance letter solidifies this Administration’s utter disregard for state and local school privacy policies. This one-sided, top-down, radical social experiment categorically excludes the privacy concerns of students, parents, and teachers, and exposes children, youth, and adults to greater risks in the intimate settings of school restrooms and locker rooms."

A copy of the Values Action Team’s letter to the President can be found here.

The Obama Administration on Friday sent a letter to every public school district in the country mandating they allow transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that match their chosen gender identity, as opposed to their birth certificate.

While the letter technically doesn’t have the force of law, it implicitly threatens schools that may wish to refuse with the potential of losing federal funds or becoming subject to lawsuits.

Before coming to Congress, Congresswoman Hartzler spent 11 years teaching junior and senior high school students in Missouri.  She represents Missouri’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives and serves on the House Agriculture, Armed Services, and Budget Committees.

Congressman Pitts represents the 16th District of Pennsylvania. He currently chairs the Health Subcommittee on the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the Values Action Team. He also serves as Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission.

In addition to his role as co-chair of the Values Action team, Rep. Fleming serves on two House Committees: Armed Services and Natural Resources where he is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Water, Power and Oceans. He represents the people of Louisiana’s Fourth Congressional District.

 

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