GOP lawmakers file resolutions urging education commissioner’s dismissal for LGBTQ+ guidance

Commissioner Jason Glass ‘remains unbowed,’ statement says

By: - March 29, 2023 7:16 pm

Education Commissioner Jason Glass addressed the House Education Committee earlier in the session. (Photo for Kentucky Lantern by McKenna Horsley)

FRANKFORT — After Kentucky Education Commissioner Jason Glass was criticized by lawmakers for inclusive guidance for the state’s LGBTQ+ students, two lawmakers filed resolutions urging the Kentucky Board of Education to dismiss him from his role. 

Rep. Josh Calloway

Calloway was speaking in support of overriding Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 150, a sweeping anti-trans measure which includes policies for Kentucky’s public schools and banning gender-affirming care for trans youth. He said parents should have the right and the responsibility to know what their children are learning in school. 

“My children don’t belong to the government. They don’t belong to the school. They don’t belong to some idea,” Calloway said. “God gave them to me. … I would also say that they also do not belong to Commissioner Jason Glass either.”

“No one with the General Assembly has had the courage or the courtesy to send us any such resolutions, so we are not able to comment on them definitively,” said Toni Konz Tatman, a spokesperson for KDE in a statement. “Such last minute and clouded actions have, disappointingly, become normal operating procedure with our state legislature.

“Sharing opposing viewpoints and perspectives is a cornerstone of a healthy and functional democracy. It should be concerning that some members of the Kentucky Legislature are adopting the tactics of authoritarian regimes, which include threatening, silencing and removing anyone who disagrees with them. The Commissioner remains unbowed by such actions and stands behind his commitment to support all students and all people.”

Sen. Lindsey Tichenor

The resolutions  accuse Glass of bringing politics to the Kentucky Department of Education “by issuing guidance to Kentucky’s schools advocating for, affirming, and elevating the LGBTQIA+ lifestyle in curriculum,” which refers to guidance issued last year about using a transgender student’s pronouns. The same guidance was originally the subject of SB 150. 

Glass also further politicized his role, the resolution says, because he announced a “summit in support of LGBTQIA+ people and youth” after the General Assembly passed SB 150. 

Glass has a four-year contract with the Kentucky Board of Education that expires September 2024. 

Among other education bills passed by the General Assembly this session, the House and Senate voted Wednesday to override Beshear’s veto of Senate Bill 107. That subjects the education commissioner to Senate confirmation.

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McKenna Horsley
McKenna Horsley

McKenna Horsley covers state politics for the Kentucky Lantern. She previously worked for newspapers in Huntington, West Virginia, and Frankfort, Kentucky. She is from northeastern Kentucky.