Today, hundreds of Fort Worth parents were joined by Texas Attorney General Paxton at a press conference at a local school, hosted by Stand for Fort Worth to express their outrage against dangerous new rules implemented by the Fort Worth ISD Superintendent that allow boys to go into girls’ showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms. Stand for Fort Worth is a new local group of concerned parents and taxpayers that has been formed to oppose the new Fort Worth ISD transgender rules.
Under the controversial rules, district employees can no longer use the words “boy” and “girl” and must abandon gender references. Information about a student’s gender expression on campus will be withheld from parents. No medical or mental health diagnosis is required in order to have a student claim an identity and therefore, they have full rights to the opposite sex locker rooms, bathrooms, etc. Parents at the press conference announced that over 75% of 3,000 Fort Worth voters polled are against these rules.
General Paxton stated that the parents “have legitimate concerns” on this issue and his office is looking into the situation.
Texas Values President and Attorney, Jonathan Saenz stated,
“The rights of these parents and taxpayers have been stripped from them by the Superintendent; and now Fort Worth students, especially girls, have been put in a dangerous position. Hundreds of Fort Worth residents spoke against these bathroom rules today and that number of opposition is growing daily. We are thankful that General Paxton stood in support today with Fort Worth parents, children, and local taxpayers. Every parent has the right to speak about the safety of their child and these rules have set a bad precedence of government abuse and the same citizen disrespect we now are seeing at the national level on the bathroom issue. The battle has just begun in Fort Worth and we fully expect these parents and taxpayers to prevail for safety and privacy, just like the people in Houston did on the bathroom issue, by refusing to bow down to a political agenda.”
Last Tuesday, the School Board meeting was packed and an overflow room had to be used because so many parents were concerned about the new rules. The School Board never took a vote on the rules, and parents were not notified until after the rules were implemented. Nicole Hudgens, Policy Analyst for Texas Values, testified against the implementation of the rules last week.
The story made national news and now President Obama has issued a similar directive threatening all schools must follow, or else they may lose Title IX funding. The guidelines (many of which may actually violate Texas state law) say employees of the district will undergo adverse employment action if they do not go along with all of the new guidelines that clearly violate not only common sense, but First Amendment speech and religious liberty rights. The FWISD guidelines are mandatory and retroactive to the 2015-2016 school year unless revised or revoked.
The City of Houston passed a similar law in 2014 and voters in 2015 voted the dangerous measure down by a vote of 61-39%. Sex offenders have used policies like the one adopted by Fort Worth ISD to take advantage of this breakdown in protection for people in bathrooms. In Seattle recently, a man undressed in a women’s locker room at a public swimming pool and said he “had a right to be there” when he was asked to leave. Target stores recently announced a similar change in their bathrooms and changing rooms and 1.2 million people have signed a boycott pledge as a result.
The new Fort Worth ISD rules/guidelines can be found here.
Our analysis of the rules/guidelines can be found here.