Gov. Deal responds to White House school bathroom directive

Governor Nathan Deal issued a response to the Obama administration's directive on transgender bathroom use at school.

Last week, the administration told all public school districts in the nation to let transgender students use the bathroom of the gender they identify with and not the gender on their birth certificate.

Gov. Deal released the following statement Tuesday:

“The Obama administration’s directive, recently announced by press release, to local school systems regarding accommodations for transgender students has generated confusion and controversy among parents, students and school officials. While I do not believe this directive carries the force of law, the Departments of Justice and Education have threatened to revoke federal funding from schools that fail to comply. Georgia’s constitution and state laws, however, require these decisions be made at the local level. While our 181 school systems must each determine an appropriate response to this federal overreach, I have asked State School Superintendent Richard Woods to provide guidance to those local school systems seeking assistance and clarity on this issue in order to ensure that there will be as much uniformity across our state as possible. Until Congress acts, I assure the citizens of Georgia that the offices of the governor, attorney general and state school superintendent will work cooperatively to protect the interests of Georgia’s children from this abuse of federal executive authority.”

Georgia’s largest school system addressed the directive on Monday. Gwinnett County Schools released a statement that read in part "We believe our current practice is reasonable, logical, and workable, and therefore, it should not be uprooted by what we consider an overreach by two federal agencies."

The news of the White House's directive broke Thursday; the same day parents in Fannin County packed their local school board meeting to address the issue.

A FOX 5/Opinion Savvy poll of likely Georgia voters suggests an overwhelming disapproval for the directive, but was split on if government should intervene in issue.