FORT WORTH, Texas - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton joined others Monday outside Trimble Tech High School to protest the Fort Worth Independent School District’s policy regarding transgender students.
Stand for Fort Worth, a new group of about 50 people including some students, called Superintendent Kent Schribner’s new guidelines dangerous and argued they give students full rights to use the bathroom or locker room of the opposite sex with no medical or mental health diagnosis.
The protestors were angry that the guidelines were forced upon them. They want the school board to vote on the issue.
"I'm against any policy that puts an administration or an ISD in the way of parent's rights," said Fort Worth resident Zeb Pent.
District officials declined to comment on the group and their demands.
The district policy regarding student welfare and non-discrimination is about two years old, but new guidelines concerning transgender students were announced by Scribner at the meeting on April 26. Among the guidelines, administrators are instructed to call students ‘students or scholars’ instead of ‘boys and girls.’
Regarding bathroom use by transgender students, the new guidelines say "If other students feel uncomfortable sharing a restroom with a transgender student or if a student has a need or desire for increased privacy, the school must allow the student(s) access to a single stall restroom, a gender neutral restroom, or the opportunity to visit the facility when other students are not present."
There were no public hearings, forums or meetings with parents during the formation of those guidelines. But, a district spokesperson said the superintendent does not have to involve the public as per state law.
Meanwhile, Gov. Greg Abbott is speaking out against the Obama administration’s new rules that say public schools must allow transgender students to use the bathrooms and locker rooms that align with the gender with which they identify.
“We have a president who decided well if Congress is not going to pass the law he’s going to impose the law. And so the president is turning the constitution on its head and that’s why I fought back when the president did the very same thing in regard to the immigration law. That’s why we fought back when the president did the very same thing with the Obamacare law and now he’s trying to do it with transgender law so we’re fighting back. We’re demanding that the president and the United States cue to the line of the constitution,” he said on FOX and Friends.
The guidelines are not legally binding, but schools that do not comply could face lawsuits or a loss of federal funding.