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Tags: asa hutchinson | education | gender-affirmation | treatments | school policies

Asa Hutchinson to Newsmax: Leave Decisions on Gender Studies at Local Level

By    |   Wednesday, 12 October 2022 01:21 PM EDT

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who was named this week to chair the Education Commission of the States, a nonpartisan group that advises state and federal government officials on education policy, told Newsmax on Wednesday that decisions on school policies to allow lessons on gender are better left at the local level, but people's values should be considered.

"We want parents to be engaged in education and supporting the children," the Republican leader said on Newsmax's "National Report." "We don't want our public schools to undermine the values that are taught in the home, and particularly if there are matters of faith, we don't want that to undermine the public school environment."

Transparency is also important, said Hutchinson, pointing out that in Arkansas, local school districts are required to publicly post details of their curricula so parents will know what's being taught and they can object to the school board if they wish.

Meanwhile, Hutchinson said he did sign a law that prohibits biological males from participating in girls' sports in Arkansas schools, because he wants to protect women's sports, so there are areas in which a state can be involved in gender education decisions.

"Primarily, this is about transparency to parents and making sure that the school boards can handle some of these very sensitive issues with our children," Hutchinson said.

The governor also said he's excited about his new opportunity, which will allow him to focus on his "passion," computer science education.

"We have accelerated computer science education in Arkansas," Hutchinson said. "We were the first state to require it to be offered in every high school, and now it's become a national story, but this is a national security interest for our country.

"Whenever you look at how we're going to have the talent in cybersecurity and software development, and all of the automation that's coming, whether it's manufacturing or whether it's automated vehicles, we have to have the talent here versus importing that talent or having our jobs being shipped overseas."

Hutchinson said that as the organization's chairman, he plans to promote computer education nationwide, as "we're making great progress in our country. We'll be able to continue that focus."

Meanwhile, the governor talked about the upcoming court case to determine the legality of his state's law banning gender-affirmation treatments including puberty blockers and hormones to people under the age of 18.

A federal court has upheld an injunction blocking the law, ruling that a lower court did not abuse its power in granting the injunction.

The state's legislature earlier this year overrode Hutchinson's veto on the bill, and he said Wednesday he does agree that the state has the right to prohibit irreversible surgery, but "the bill went further than that."

Hormonal treatments, he said, are a decision between parents and a doctor.

"Whenever you're looking at the best care for children and medical advice, I don't think the state should step in," said Hutchinson. "That bill went too far whenever it prohibited any type of care for those with gender dysphoria.

"The surgeries are out of line and they should be prohibited. I would sign that law, but we don't want to take that too far and interfere with that parent-child and physician relationship and we need more science to back that up, and so we'll see how that develops in the court."

The governor also on Wednesday commented on President Joe Biden's interview with CNN, including his comments defending his administration's policies on the economy.

"His policies are the reason that Arkansans are paying more at the pump, and is the reason they're having to cut back on their expenditures or to work two jobs," said Hutchinson.


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Sandy Fitzgerald

Sandy Fitzgerald has more than three decades in journalism and serves as a general assignment writer for Newsmax covering news, media, and politics. 

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson told Newsmax on Wednesday that decisions on school policies to allow lessons on gender are better left at the local level, but people's values should be considered.
asa hutchinson, education, gender-affirmation, treatments, school policies
Wednesday, 12 October 2022 01:21 PM
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