05 July 2016

Texas Ups The Ante Against Transgenders

Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick
In United States, Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has stepped up their campaign against special accommodations demanded by transgender students. Following the multi-state lawsuit Texas filed against the federal government a few days ago, Patrick is now working to make sure transgender students in Texas receive no special treatment at school in the meantime.

At a press conference last 1 June, Patrick announced that he will explicitly oppose the Obama administration’s guidance urging schools to respect trans students' identities. "I will be sending a letter to every superintendent in the state of Texas," he said, "letting them know that they should not move forward on the President's guidelines."

Moreover, Patrick is actually hoping to force schools to defy the guidance. He also announced that he is asking Attorney General Ken Paxton — who filed the lawsuit against the federal government — to review whether Fort Worth Independent School District’s trans-inclusive policy violates state law.

In April, Fort Worth ISD introduced new guidelines for accommodating transgender students — guidelines that simply reflect the fact that the district has included "gender identity" in its nondiscrimination policy since 2011.

Patrick inserted himself into the issue that followed in what now appears to be an attempt to make an example of the district. He originally called for the superintendent to resign, accusing him of having "lost his focus and thereby his ability to lead." That didn’t work, which is probably why he’s now involving Paxton’s office.

Given Paxton’s previously expressed opposition to transgender rights, it's not surprising that Stand for Fort Worth, a group that opposes the district's policy, is convinced it'll be overturned. "It is now inevitable that this transgender policy will be struck down," they said in a statement, "whether it be through legal remedies or by the action of the Fort Worth ISD."

"We’re not going to go in here and involve ourselves in every issue in a school district," Patrick said. "If a superintendent breaks the law and the school board doesn't act, the legislature will act."