ACLU files civil rights complaints against Keller, Frisco ISD over transgender policies

The ACLU of Texas filed civil rights complaints against Keller ISD and Frisco ISD urging the U.S. Department of Education to investigate the districts over new policies that the ACLU claims strip away transgender students' rights.

Earlier this month, Keller ISD voted 4-2 to ban books that mention gender identity from school libraries.

The policy removes any books that "espouses the view that gender is merely a social construct", "espouses the view that it is possible for a person to be any gender or none" or "supports hormone therapy or other medical treatments to temporarily or permanently alter a person's body or genetic make-up so that it ‘matches’ a self-believed gender that is different from the person's biological sex."

"Personally I don't agree with that lifestyle, I don't agree with the definition of this, but that's not for me to judge that in any person," said Keller ISD school board trustee Ruthie Keyes at the meeting.

More than 70 people gave public comment at the meeting.

"Our teachers don't want to have these conversations with these students, they are not qualified to do that," said board president Charles Randklev. "We are doing it for the kids. I too have children in school and it would horrify me if they came home with that book that we approved up here, and it was because we didn’t have sufficient criteria in our guidelines to catch it."  

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Keller ISD to remove controversial books, including the Bible, from library shelves for review

The ACLU complaint says the policy violates Title IX and that the school board has created a "pervasively hostile atmosphere for LGBTQ+ students."

Also earlier this month, Frisco ISD vote 7-0 to change its policies to require students to use bathrooms and changing rooms that align with their gender assigned at birth.

It also says accommodations will be made for students to use private, single use bathrooms.

The move came after some parents complained that transgender students were allowed to use bathrooms that corresponded with their gender identity.

"If your child was at that high of risk level for suicide you would want their school environment to be as inclusive and kind as possible," said a parent at the meeting.

The ACLU complaint against Frisco ISD claims the school board's action also violates Title IX and the policy will "harm transgender, non-binary, gender diverse and intersex students, and substantially invade their privacy."

The complaint alleges "Frisco ISD is attempting to categorize students based on their ‘biological sex,’ which is not a term that is defined in either federal or Texas law."

Parents at the Frisco meeting earlier this month were divided on the issue.

"We should ban transgender athletes from school sports, limit teachers ability to offer lessons on gender identity, pull books featuring LGBT characters from school libraries. This is an ongoing woke culture being indoctrinated on our children, this must stop," said one parent.

"The more that we talk about this stuff, it puts our children more at risk because you are telling them they are other, they are not welcome or loved and that is not the case," said another parent.

The U.S. Department of Education has not commented on the complaint.

FOX 4 reached out to both districts, but they are on break for Thanksgiving.