Dripping Springs ISD Continues Secret Bathroom Policy, Refuses Open Records Request

Nov 28, 2016

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Recently, parents in Dripping Springs Independent School District (ISD) and Texas Values submitted a Public Information Act Request to Dripping Springs ISD related to the district’s new policy and process that allows boys into girls’ bathrooms.  In response, we have been informed that Dripping Springs ISD is refusing to comply with this request and is now asking Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to support the District’s position to withhold relevant public information. The school board is scheduled to meet today at 6 p.m.

Parents held a press conference earlier today with State Representative Jason Isaac supporting their concerns.

“My fellow Drippings Springs ISD parents and I deserve to know what’s going in our public schools. We refuse to allow the government to hide behind closed doors and shut us out of decisions that affect our children’s lives,” said Cassandra Adams, parent of a Dripping Springs ISD student.

Jonathan Saenz, President and Attorney of Texas Values, stated:

“Drippings Springs ISD can run, but they can’t hide forever from parents and taxpayers on their controversial policy that allows boys into girls bathrooms and affects over 5,000 students. We are disappointed that Dripping Springs ISD is continuing their efforts to hide the truth. And if they have nothing to hide, then Drippings Springs ISD should promptly turn over any and all information about this divisive new policy and practice in their schools.”

The concern and outrage by parents in the Dripping Springs ISD continues to grow after discovering earlier this year that the Dripping Springs ISD School Administration is allowing male students to go into girls’ bathrooms. This new policy was implemented behind closed doors, without a vote by the school board, without a public hearing and without parent input. The initial school board meeting after the new policy was discovered was standing room only and required an overflow room due to the outrage and attention caused by the new bathroom policy. It is believed that the Dripping Springs ISD was offering accommodations last school year that allowed use of a private bathroom, but this year that policy and approach was changed.

At the past two school board meetings, the board refused to schedule the policy for discussion, but parents were able to strongly voice their concerns for the privacy, safety and dignity of all students and expressed their opposition to allowing children to go into the restroom of the opposite sex. Rogue Superintendent Dr. Bruce Gearing and the school board have not publicly discussed the issue at the school board meeting, the school board has refused to add this controversial issue to the meeting agenda, and the school board has never taken a public vote on the decision. Fort Worth ISD was scolded in a Texas Attorney General Opinion for violating state law when the Superintendent unilaterally adopted a similar bathroom policy without prior adoption by the school board.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has been successful in leading several states in a court case that has stopped President Obama’s effort to force public schools to allow boys into girls’ bathrooms. Just two weeks ago, U.S. District Judge Reed O’Connor reiterated that the injunction that stops Obama’s dangerous school bathroom mandate still applies nationwide.

The Obama administration issued a “Dear Colleague Letter” in May threatening to take away school Title IX funding if schools did not allow boys into girls showers, bathrooms, and locker-rooms- “even in circumstances in which other students, parents, or community members raise objections or concerns.” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is leading a lawsuit of 13 states to stop the Obama administration’s attack on public schools and their misinterpretation of Title IX.

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

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