Both Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) and Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) have now gotten involved in the dustup over one school district’s policy aimed at accommodating transgender students, ramping up state pressure to reverse it.
Patrick on Monday called for Forth Worth school Superintendent Kent Scribner to resign over his decision to allow students to use the bathroom and play on the sports team that corresponds to their gender identity.
Patrick criticized Scribner for acting outside of the school board and said the superintendent had put his “political agenda” before students’ needs.
Scribner, who has refused to resign, defended his decision to implement the new policy on Tuesday.
“I’m proud of these guidelines,” he told the Forth Worth Star-Telegram. “I think they provide educators with the ability to make all students more comfortable and confident in a learning environment.”
Scribner said that the policy was approved in 2011, and that he was simply issuing guidelines for teachers in an attempt to clarify the policy, according to the Dallas Morning News.
And Jacinto Ramos, president of the Forth Worth school board, told the Star-Telegram that Scribner sent his proposed policy to the board for review in January. But Paxton sent a letter to Ramos on Tuesday warning him that Scribner’s move violated Texas Education Code.
“The sweeping policy was not adopted by the school board,” Paxton wrote in the letter. “I have strong concern that this policy violates provisions in the Texas Education Code that give parents an unequivocal right to information regarding their children and is motivated by a misguided view of Title IX.”
Paxton also argued that Title IX of the Civil Rights Act does not protect transgender people from discrimination.