Parental Input Added to |Fort Worth Bathroom Policy

     FORT WORTH, Texas (CN) – The Fort Worth Independent School District bowed to state pressure Wednesday, announcing a change to its controversial transgender bathroom policy that now includes parental input.
     “The new guidelines place a heavy emphasis on involving parents and trusts students, teachers and parents to work together to make the right decisions,” Superintendent Kent P. Scribner said in a statement. “We have great confidence in our school leadership at the campus level and will place our trust in parents, principals, counselors and teachers to take care of our most vulnerable children.”
     Enacted in 2011 and clarified three months ago, the policy originally directed teachers and school officials to allow transgender students to use a single stall in bathrooms of the gender with which they identify, when other students are not present.
     The new policy requires transgender students and their parents to meet with school officials to determine “an individualized support plan” on a case-by-case basis.
     Opposition to the original policy was swift, as Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick demanded Scribner’s resignation for allegedly violating the Texas Education Code.
     Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a non-binding legal opinion last month that warned the policy was illegal because it “relegated parents to a subordinate status” by allowing for information only on a “need-to-know” basis.
     Paxton also said Scribner may have exceeded his authority by enacting the policy without school board approval.
     The attorney general applauded the policy change Wednesday, saying it is now in line with his advisory opinion.
     “This guideline now allows school officials to consider the needs of students and their families on a case-by-case basis while considering the health and safety of all students,” Paxton said in a written statement. “Unfortunately, the Obama administration disagrees with allowing school officials to make common-sense, case-by-case choices.”
     Paxton noted the new policy is now in line with that of Harrold Independent School District, which sued the Obama administration along with Texas and 12 other states.
     The school district and states claim the president’s directive that ties federal funding for schools to the treatment of transgender students is illegal.
     In response to the controversy surrounding the original policy, Scribner held six town hall meetings around the district, received comment from 235 individuals and held four hours of public comment on the matter at four successive board meetings before enacting the change.

%d bloggers like this: