War of words breaks out over Kentucky education department's grammatical reading of a bill restricting sex ed
A Republican lawmaker argues the Kentucky Department of Education is "shamelessly injecting politics" into classroom with its grammatical interpretation of a provision in Senate Bill 150, a controversial far-reaching bill which sets new restrictions on the teaching of sexuality in schools.
The dispute is over a portion of the law intended to require that no child grade 5 or under receive any instruction on human sexuality or STDs and that no student in any grade level receive instruction or presentations on gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
Guidance from the Kentucky Department of Education, however, tells districts they have a choice between those two provisions. The interpretation is the result of the use of the word “or," which the department says in a footnote functions as a conjunction in context.
The text of the bill reads: "(1) “Children in grade five (5) and below do not receive any instruction through curriculum or programs on human sexuality or sexually transmitted diseases; or  Any child, regardless of grade level, enrolled in the district does not receive any instruction or presentation that has a goal or purpose of students studying or exploring gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.”
SB 150 sponsor, Sen. Max Wise, is calling the KDE guidance a political move and a “feeble attempt to undermine the law” by the Beshear administration and Education Commissioner Jason Glass.
Wise goes on to say the education department demonstrates its “clear political lean” when it gives SB 150 such a “contorted interpretation.”
This is a developing story.