Texas Turns Up Heat|on School Bathrooms


     FORT WORTH (CN) — Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick on Monday demanded that the superintendent of Fort Worth Independent School District be fired for a policy friendly to transgender students.
     Patrick, a Republican, said Superintendent Kent Scribner lacks the “fitness to hold his position as superintendent.”
     In a statement on his government website, Patrick said Scribner “has placed his own personal political agenda ahead of the more than 86,000 students attending 146 schools in the district by unilaterally adopting ‘Transgender Student Guidelines.’
     “Without any discussion with parents, board members, principals, and other community leaders, Dr. Scribner’s unilateral action, underscores this lack of fitness to hold his position as superintendent,” Patrick’s statement says.
     The policy, announced at an April 19 school board meeting, directs 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.
     “After less than a year as superintendent, Dr. Scribner has lost his focus and thereby his ability to lead the Fort Worth ISD,” Patrick said in the statement. He said the Legislature may need to “pass a meaningful school choice bill,” but whether it does or not, “we must not allow the actions of Dr. Scribner to go unnoticed or unanswered.”
     “I call upon the parents within the Fort Worth ISD to take immediate steps to repeal this stealthy scheme and remove Dr. Scribner from his post.”
     Patrick added: “Every parent, especially those of young girls, should be outraged.”
     Patrick’s blast came hours after North Carolina lawmakers and the Department of Justice sued each other over that state’s new law requiring transgender people to use public restrooms conforming with the gender on their birth certificate.
     The Justice Department says the North Carolina law constitutes illegal gender discrimination.
     Last week Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned Target that its policy of allowing transgender people to use restrooms and fitting rooms corresponding to their gender identity would invite crime.
     Patrick successfully campaigned last year for the voter-approved repeal of Houston’s Equal Rights Ordinance, which banned discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, age, disability and other grounds, in line with federal antidiscrimination laws. Repeal supporters said the law allowed predators posing as transgender people to enter women’s bathrooms.
     Last week in suburban Dallas, the Rockwall City Council rejected the first proposed “bathroom bill” ordinance in Texas, which mirrored restrictions in the North Carolina law. No one on the council seconded Republican Mayor Jim Pruitt’s motion for a vote, killing the proposal.

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