JACKSON, Miss. (AP) – Under fire from the governor and some Republican legislators, the Mississippi Department of Education now says it won’t follow new federal guidance on use of bathrooms and locker rooms by transgender students.
State Superintendent Carey Wright made the announcement Wednesday morning in a brief statement, saying the department would “follow the lead of state leadership” and take no action until the state Board of Education could discuss the situation.
Mississippi education officials had said Friday they would follow the guidance by federal authorities calling for transgender students to be treated consistently with their gender identity. They cited a need for a “safe and caring school environment.”
Gov. Phil Bryant had called for Mississippi to defy “federal coercion” and some Republican lawmakers called for Wright to reverse her position or resign.