A federal judge in Fort Worth heard arguments on Friday about blocking President Obama's directive on transgender bathrooms. The case involves a small school district near Wichita Falls.
Harrold ISD approved bathroom restrictions based on a person's biological sex. That goes against a White House order to allow access based on a person's gender identity.
Texas and 12 other states are calling the White House mandate a misinterpretation of ‘Title Nine’ protections.
Attorneys from Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton's office argue the Obama Administration's transgender guidelines forces school districts to mix kids of different biological sexes in what they refer to as ‘intimate areas.’
Attorneys for the government say the guidelines only reinforce rules already in place that forbid sex discrimination in schools, including transgender students.
Texas filed a suit in the name of the Harrold school district. Twelve other states are part of the lawsuit.
Among the many observers in the courtroom were Adam and Amber Briggle. They're the parents of a transgender 8-year-old who identifies as a boy. They believe transgender students should have equal rights in school.
"Even tomboys know inside they're girls. But he's not a tomboy, he's a boy. He's a real boy, and he's been telling me since the age of 2. It just took me that long.” said Briggle. “It took us that long to wrap our heads around the fact transgender people exist, and it does exist in children."
Federal government attorneys argue the transgender guidelines are not laws. But the state says if school districts don’t allow students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that fit their gender identify, districts stand to lose millions of dollars in federal school money.
U.S. District Court Judge Reed O'Connor is expected to rule in the next several days to a couple of weeks. State attorneys say the sooner the better because school is about to begin in a lot of the states that are part of the lawsuit.