Legal Brief: Fort Worth ISD Transgender Policy Violates Law

Jun 16, 2016

Gavel breaking glass (620-240)Today, Texas Values sent a letter brief to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton regarding Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s opinion request on the legality of the Fort Worth ISD’s “Transgender Student Guidelines.” The letter brief argues that the new policy violates Texas Education laws regarding parental rights. The new school policy was unilaterally implemented by the Fort Worth ISD Superintendent and it allows boys to go into girls’ showers, locker rooms, and bathrooms. The new controversial policy also allows boys to play on girls’ sports teams, and if a child claims to “identify” as the opposite sex, school personnel may not notify the child’s parents. The rules were not voted on by the FWISD School Board, and Fort Worth Parents were not notified about the rules until after they were implemented. Teachers will suffer “adverse employment action” for a “failure to comply.”

A portion of the letter brief includes (read the full brief here):

Several aspects of the Guidelines violate state laws that protect the authority of parents. Consider, for example, the edict that requires school officials to conceal a student’s “gender expression” at school from that student’s parent or guardian.

…This clear intention to punish employees raises the question about legality of this policy to a level that requires your immediate attention. Teachers being forced to violate the law or lose their job will create an unproductive work environment for public schools.

…[W]e encourage you to conclude that the Fort Worth ISD Transgender Student Guidelines violate state law and open up the school district and its employees to costly litigation at the expense of taxpayers, parental rights, and safety.

Texas Values President and Attorney Jonathan Saenz stated:

“Our legal conclusion is that the Fort Worth ISD transgender policy violates the parental rights protected by the Texas Education Code. This policy is designed to keep parents in the dark when Texas law entitles parents to full information about their children at school. What also makes these policies suspect is how they were decided behind closed doors, without a vote from the School Board, and without any input from the parents. Until the Fort Worth ISD and its rogue Superintendent repeal this dangerous policy, we will continue to work diligently to expose this harmful agenda in Fort Worth, and we will support the parents who have every right to know and the freedom to voice their concerns on these matters.”

About Texas Values

Texas Values is a non-profit organization dedicated to standing for faith, family, and freedom in Texas. More information is available at txvalues.org.

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