BREAKING: Bathroom Privacy Debate Hits San Antonio ISD; New Government Rule Sneaked In
With very little public notice, the San Antonio ISD voted to approve a new school policy that could allow boys into the girls’ showers, restrooms, locker rooms, changing areas, and possibly even sports teams.
“Texas leaders were warned that this is what would happen if the Texas House was not allowed to vote on this issue,” said Jonathan Saenz, President of Texas Values, learning of the SAISD’s policy change. “The liberal LGBT left wasted no time in implementing a new policy with little opportunity for the public to weigh-in. Now it’s time for San Antonio parents who are blindsided by this to call their school board members and request a chance to be heard.”
The new policy adds “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” and “gender expression” (a string of special protections that do not exist in state law) while making it clear that this applies to instances of “accommodation.” The policy appears to apply to faculty, staff, and students.
Just yesterday Texas Values warned:
“Without a doubt, liberal LGBT interest groups will see Speaker Joe Straus’s and Representative Byron Cook’s blocking of the privacy protection bill as a green light to pursue even more un-vetted, untested, and controversial school district policies that put our children in danger – and will race to do so before a second special session.”
Saenz places the blame on Texas House Republican leaders — Speaker Joe Straus and Chairman Byron Cook – who actively blocked efforts to schedule the Texas Privacy Act for a vote in the regular and special sessions of the Texas Legislature. San Antonio Rep. Lyle Larson refused to sign on in support of the House bathroom privacy legislation, HB 46, during the special session. And this in defiance of the Texas Republican party platform and the will of a majority of Texans, the clear priority by Gov. Greg Abbott in his special session call, and not to mention passage by the Texas Senate (including Democrat Sen. Eddie Lucio) and a majority of GOP House members as co-sponsors.
“The school district of Texas’ second-largest city will now have to contend with the confusion this new policy will generate, draining school district resources and staff time, as well as endangering our most vulnerable on an issue that has school districts in other states involved in costly litigation,” Saenz added. “This is why we fought so hard to pass a single, statewide standard in our public schools and government buildings, and why we will continue to advocate for clarity and transparency in local school districts as well as in a possible second special session. In the meantime, it’s time for San Antonio ISD parents who feel there was insufficient time to prepare remarks to stand up and be heard.”
According to the board meeting video, there seemed to be no substantive discussion of this issue. The notice in the SAISD agenda, released late Friday, Aug. 18, was vaguely worded. After months of heavily covered press conferences and hearings of issues related to schools and sexuality under the Texas Capitol dome, there was only one person who testified before the school board Monday night.
The agenda item was listed as:
A. Approval of Revisions to Board Policies DIA(LOCAL), FFI(LOCAL), and FFH(LOCAL)
“This vague notification and fast-track effort certainly makes it look like San Antonio school officials wanted to hide the real details about what they were doing because they know very well how controversial this issue is right now,” Saenz said.
Local media coverage of the new San Antonio ISD policy makes it clear to some that these new government rules are related to the debate on boys being allowed in girls’ bathrooms.
San Antonio ISD policy revisions: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=41065944
Texas Values Resource: Back to School — Know Your Bathroom Privacy and Religious Liberty Rights https://txvalues.org/2017/08/23/back-to-school-know-your-bathroom-privacy-and-religious-liberty-rights
Texas Privacy Act information page: http://www.txvalues.org/protectprivacy
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.