After the uproar of parents, citizens, and students in Fort Worth over the past 3 months, the Fort Worth Independents School District (FWISD) has reversed its dangerous transgender guidelines that allowed boys into girls’ showers, locker-rooms, and bathrooms. The school district issued new guidelines today with significant changes that should go a long way to better protect all students in FWISD. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a legal opinion last month that found the previous guidelines violated Texas law, specifically parental rights. The previous guidelines prohibited school personnel from telling parents if a child claimed to be transitioning and were unilaterally implemented by the Superintendent without a vote from the school board, or input from parents.
The specific differences of the new guidelines include (read new guidelines here):
– An explicit affirmation of parental rights: “Parents are partners with educators, administrators, and the board in their children’s education. Parents shall be encouraged to actively participate in creating and implementing education programs for their children. Texas Education Code § 26.001(a) unless otherwise provided by law, a board, an administrator, an educator or other person may not limit parental rights. Texas Education Code § 20.001(c).”
– The critical recognition that “A parent is entitled to full information regarding the school activities of the student, except as precluded by Texas law.”
– The replacement of rules about restroom and locker-room access. The previous rules have been replaced with the statement that accommodation requests will be “reviewed and addressed on a case-by-case basis based upon the particular circumstances of the individual student and school facilities.”
– The removal of an unlawful requirement that punished school officials for notifying parents if their child showed transgender behavior.
Jonathan Saenz, President and Attorney of Texas Values who testified against the dangerous policy, stated:
“The sweeping reversal by Fort Worth ISD on their transgender policy is a victory for parents, common sense, and the rule of law. Fort Worth ISD’s dramatic retreat on its bathrooms policy should send a message to all Texas school districts- you don’t mess with parents’ rights and safety in Texas public schools. We remain concerned about this issue in Fort Worth ISD moving forward because of the lack of transparency and violation of the law thus far. ”
Atty. Gen. Ken Paxton issued a statement today that included, “I applaud the Fort Worth Independent School District for revising its guideline to ensure it complies with state law and my recent attorney general opinion.”
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