The state Board of Education is following state leaders in opposing federal guidance on the use of public school bathrooms by transgender students. The Board voted unanimously to reject the federal policy yesterday. The new position is a reversal of a previous statement sent from the Mississippi Department of Education that stated it would "adhere to joint guidance." Board of Education Chairman John Kelly of Gulfport says he believes local districts can handle questions over transgender students' using the bathroom of their choice better than the state. Kelly says the board voted to reverse the position of state Superintendent of Education Carey Wright after deliberating. He spoke with media after the board spent about two and a half hours in a closed-door meeting.
Mississippians who can't afford an attorney for common legal matters may be able to turn to a mobile app for help soon. Members of Mississippi Access to Justice Commission are brainstorming about what should be included in a mobile app under development. Executive Director Tiffany Graves says many in the state can't afford an attorney and struggle to navigate the legal system. She told MPB's Desare Frazier the app won't provide legal advice, but it will offer information and forms for civil court proceedings like evictions, child custody and divorce cases.
Farmers in Mississippi will now have another tool to avoid economic losses by using a unauthorized pesticide to defend certain crops from bugs that destroy them. Experts disagree over the impact the pesticide poses to honey bees. As MPB's Mark Rigsby reports, the Environmental Protection Agency is taking public comment on a new plan to put the pesticide back on the market.
A sea life advocacy group says a different net on shrimp boats in the Mississippi Gulf Coast could save wildlife AND help shrimpers reach new markets. The group Oceana says making turtle-excluder devices -- or TEDs -- mandatory for all Gulf shrimp boats that use skimmer trawls would make all the difference. Lora Snyder is with Oceana. She told MPB's Evelina Burnett some vessels are currently excluded from the requirement to use the devices and that's impacted the entire industry. Snyder says many restaurants and seafood markets won't even buy shrimp from states where the TEDs are not in use.