Parents, Pastors: San Antonio ISD Starts Bathroom War
SAN ANTONIO – Parents, pastors, students, concerned taxpayers, and community members spoke out today about the short timing and vaguely worded notice and the content of a new San Antonio ISD policy that allows boys in girls’ showers, restrooms, and locker rooms, and perhaps sports teams.
A press conference was held this morning highlighting the lack of transparency and accountability on an issue that has dominated headlines and political conversation since the beginning of the year – and why only one person commented. Below are some comments from those who now wish to have their turn to speak before the San Antonio ISD Board of Trustees on this critical issue.
“Today we stand with the parents and students of San Antonio ISD as they voice their concerns about a policy that was passed without their consent, or even substantive discussion. All students deserve dignity and respect. Sadly, this type of policy has been used over, and over to violate the privacy and dignity of students under the guise of political correctness. We urge the San Antonio ISD to rescind this policy immediately.” –Nicole Hudgens, Policy Analyst, Texas Values.
“If moms and dads have the right to decide, will they want their precious daughters attending a school that allows men into the girl’s shower and bathrooms? I believe the overwhelming voice of the parents will be: No!” – Ken Mercer, Texas State Board of Education Member from San Antonio.
“As a grandmother of a girl in the San Antonio school district I am concerned for her safety since this ruling regarding the free gender use of bathrooms and locker rooms has been passed. My concern centers on the abuse of this ruling by trying to use our children in a social experiment.” –Constance.
“I think this is wrong because first, there have been stories of men posing as women and invading women’s and young girls’ privacy. Second, I for one would be very uncomfortable to see a man in my bathroom, even if it were my brother or my dad or grandfather of whom I am very comfortable around. Third it goes against my beliefs because that’s not how God made it. I am very blessed to have the opportunity to go to a Christian school where they would never let something like this happen. I am, however, still concerned about the young girls like me that have to deal with this issue at their public schools.” –Kaydyn Montana, age 13, 8th grade.
“The effects of the assaults can still get at me. I spent many years addicted to drugs and alcohol, homelessness. It took a lot of courage to admit this as a man, imagine what it could be like, must be like for a woman. As a survivor, I would never, ever want a child who has experienced the trauma of sexual assault to be put in a position where they are forced to share in a private, personal space with the opposite sex. As a father, with all due respect, I cannot allow my precious, special, princesses to be put in a situation where they have to share a private space with a boy or man. I lived a ‘nightmare’ first-hand and I lose myself thinking that children could possibly be allowed into such environments that could trigger the trauma they have endured.” –Ed Martin, community member.
“I understand that transgendered persons are in a difficult spot and navigating life has its challenges, however I am concerned that innocent victims of sexual molestation will be subject to additional trauma if this decision is carried out. I urge SAISD to consider all aspects of this issue to compassionately balance the psychological needs of all students. Please do not rush such a decision as some students could suffer additional harm that may take a lifetime to heal.” –Michael Ferguson, community member.
The SAISD Board of Trustees is scheduled to meet 5:30 p.m. Monday at the SAISD Burnet Center, 406 Barrera St., San Antonio.
The new San Antonio ISD policy, approved Sept. 4, 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”; which will include bathrooms, showers, and locker rooms. The policy applies to faculty, staff, and students. According to the board meeting video, there appeared 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. The agenda item was listed as:
- Approval of Revisions to Board Policies DIA(LOCAL), FFI(LOCAL), and FFH(LOCAL)
This move comes on the heels of the Texas Legislature’s regular and special sessions in which a privacy protection bill was blocked by Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio) and Rep. Byron Cook. Rep. Lyle Larson (R-San Antonio) refused to sign on in support of the House bathroom privacy legislation, HB 46, during the special session. This was done 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.
San Antonio ISD policy revisions: https://v3.boardbook.org/Public/PublicItemDownload.aspx?ik=41065944
Press release: Bathroom Privacy Debate Hits San Antonio ISD; New Government Rule Sneaked In: https://txvalues.org/2017/08/24/breaking-bathroom-privacy-debate-hits-san-antonio-isd-new-government-rule-sneaked-in
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.