Anchorage Superintendent Says Prop 1 is Unnecessary and Cannot Be Enforced

By February 21, 2018Blog Post

Anchorage School District Superintendent Dr. Deena Bishop today addressed Prop 1, which would repeal portions of Anchorage’s non-discrimination ordinance protecting transgender people.

While the Anchorage School District is legally prohibited from taking positions on ballot initiatives, Superintendent Bishop made it clear that these existing protections have worked well for the past two years and that if passed, Prop 1 could not be enforced in Anchorage schools:

“The enforcement of this policy is not possible. We will not stand guard at our restroom doors. So as we move forward and learn what this brings to us, we are keeping student safety in mind. There is nothing in the budget that moves forward anyone to play the role of law enforcement in the restroom.”

Our campaign manager thanked Superintendent Bishop for speaking out against this discriminatory initiative—agreeing that it’s our transgender youth who will be most harmed by Prop 1:

“Prop 1 will hurt students and our city. We need to make sure everyone knows – and particularly kids – that they are welcome and safe in Anchorage.”

Superintendent Bishop’s statement came just minutes after six students testified before the Anchorage School Board—explaining how Proposition 1 and the repeal of our municipal non-discrimination law would impact them.

And Tuesday morning, former Superintendent Carol Comeau published an op-ed in the Anchorage Daily News  speaking out against Proposition 1—saying that it would interfere with learning in schools across Anchorage:

The non-discrimination law has now been on the books for two years, and it has served our students well. It has allowed our educators to work with individual students and solve problems on a case-by-case basis. Proposition 1 would take that flexibility away from our students and educators. The current law acknowledges that different students have unique needs. Proposition 1 papers over those differences with policy that is ineffective and harmful. In my opinion, it is far more worthwhile for educators to work with individual students than to stand guard outside bathrooms checking birth certificates.

Superintendent Bishop joins Anchorage Chief of Police Justin Doll in questioning how Proposition 1 would be enforced. At an Anchorage Assembly meeting last fall, Chief Doll responded to a question about Proposition 1, saying “I honestly don’t know how we would enforce something like that.”

Proposition 1 is unnecessary and unenforceable. The Superintendent of Anchorage Public Schools agrees. The Chief of Police agrees. And on April 3rd, we’re confident a majority of voters will agree.