fbpx

Lawmakers, TASB Spar over Trans Memo

Education

A photo of a TASB office | Image by WFAA

AUSTIN – Several Texas legislators have publicly asked Attorney General Ken Paxton to investigate a recent legal memo issued to schools by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).

The TASB document, which discusses “legal issues related to transgender students,” offers recommendations for several situations, including restroom accessibility, locker room privacy, and field trip attendance.

TASB claims to address “some of the more common questions school boards face” regarding recent legal interpretations of Title IX, the federal statute that bans sex-based discrimination.

Throughout the memo, the TASB references a variety of precedents, such as Obama-era Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights resolution agreements and Supreme Court cases like Bostock v. Clayton County (2020), that pertain to how gender identity relates to anti-sex discrimination laws.

The memo suggests that “Under federal law, transgender students have the right to be free from discrimination based on their gender identity and to freely express that gender identity.”

“Transgender students should be permitted to wear clothing that aligns with their gender identity,” the memo claims, adding, “School districts should also use the preferred name and gender of the transgender student unless specifically prohibited by law.”

Referring to bathroom usage that does not align with biological sex, the guidance warns that “if the transgender student’s requests are not granted, then a school district will need to be prepared to demonstrate all the options considered and attempted, and to articulate a reasonable, non-discriminatory rationale for denying any requests.”

The TASB also notes that some schools have chosen to obscure information about students from parents “if a parent does not support a student’s gender transition,” noting that “Schools have instructed staff to call a transgender student by the student’s preferred name at school but to refer to the student by the name on the birth certificate in all communications with parents.”

However, the TASB goes on to suggest, “Ultimately, the best advice is to assess each situation as it comes, working closely with the student, parents, and district counsel to reach a resolution that protects the learning environment for all.”

Responding to the guidance, Rep. Bryan Slaton (R-Greenville), along with Reps. Brian Harrison (R-Waxahachie), Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington), and Mark Dorazio (R-San Antonio), requested that the Office of the Attorney General “thoroughly review this material and provide further guidance to Texas school boards on the issue.”

“Additionally, we ask your office to identify potential changes in law to ensure Texas public schools reflect the values of Texas voters, that parental rights are always protected, and that every student’s safety and privacy is protected,” the quartet of representatives continued.

Rep. Dorazio explained to The Dallas Express, “I am deeply disappointed and, frankly, disturbed by the so-called ‘guidance’ put out by TASB. One of the fundamental roles of government is to protect its people, and the children, specifically the young girls, who attend our public schools deserve the full force of our protection.”

“I will never support sacrificing the safety and privacy of our school-age young girls and young women for the feelings of others,” Dorazio asserted, “most especially adults like those at TASB who are clearly more concerned with virtue-signaling than good campus policy.”

Additional legislators also denounced the document including Sen. Mayes Middleton (R-Galveston), Rep. Nate Schatzline (R-Fort Worth), and the members of the Freedom Caucus also sent a letter to the attorney general.

TASB Deputy Executive Director Tiffany Dunne-Oldfield defended the legal guidance, explaining to The Dallas Express, “TASB develops and updates its legal FAQs in response to questions received from school officials and attorneys across Texas … Taken as a whole, the document conveys that this is a complex and emerging area of law involving sensitive decisions.”

“To set the record straight, TASB Legal Services does not tell districts to allow males to enter female restrooms or locker rooms,” she continued. “We also don’t direct or advise districts to subvert parental rights on preferred pronouns and gender identity.”

“In fact, we assert that school districts should work with students and parents in navigating these situations and that, ‘parents have the right to direct the upbringing of their children and make medical decisions for them,'” Dunne-Oldfield asserted.

“TASB welcomes any informed conversation or review of the legal issues related to transgender students as school districts are increasingly facing legal questions related to this topic,” she concluded.

“If there are changes to the law on this topic, TASB will again update its FAQ to provide a general understanding of this evolving and complex area of law.”

Several bills filed in the Texas legislature could impact the legal questions considered by the TASB guidance document.

Sen. Bob Hall (R-Rockwall) has filed a bill “prohibiting instruction regarding sexual orientation or gender identity for public school students.”

Additionally, Rep. Jared Patterson (R-Frisco) authored a similar bill that emphasizes “the fundamental right of a parent to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of the parent’s child.”

The Dallas Express also reached out to the ACLU of Texas and the Texas House LGBTQ Caucus comment regarding the letter to the attorney general but did not hear back prior to publication.

If you enjoyed this article, please support us today!

Formed in 2021, we provide fact-based, non-partisan news. The Dallas Express is a non-profit organization funded by charitable support and advertising.

Please join us on the important journey to make Dallas a better place!

We welcome and appreciate comments on The Dallas Express as part of a healthy dialogue. We do ask that you be kind. Kind to each other and to everyone else in your comments. For more information, please refer to our Complete Comment Moderation Policy.

Subscribe to Comments
Notify of
guest

8 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Neil
Neil
7 days ago

The TASB guidance is perfectly reasonable and addresses the concerns of all students. GOP lawmakers want to sensationalize the issue by falsely asserting that schools are allowing males to be in girls locker rooms.

Ranger71
Ranger71
Reply to  Neil
7 days ago

You have offered your opinion, and you mention concern for students. But noticeably absent is any concern for parents. Should they not have a voice in the process?

Wolfman
Wolfman
Reply to  Neil
7 days ago

I[‘m sorry, but if you have an outie, you’re a boy. No amount of EMO garbage can change that. If you are genetically and biologically a boy and claim you’re a girl, then you obviously have mental/emotional issues. You should seek professional help.

Y;all made that same statement about the racist CRT and it turned out that WE were right and YOU were wrong. Are you on the left EVER going to get tired of being wrong and shut your pieholes?

Wolfman
Wolfman
7 days ago

Gender identity is obviously an emotional illness. It should be treated as such and not pampered.

Djea3
Djea3
Reply to  Wolfman
7 days ago

Thank you, the fact is that we have fraudulent Doctors that want to change the physical identity of someone to match their gender dysphoria, instead of curing the disease itself.

Great strides have been made by many groups with regard to (especially) gay men. When the root cause of their dysphoria is dealt with many of them find that they are not gay but instead were victims and became who they are through being a victim. Many are not willing to address these issues, but those that do find that they are no longer dependent upon gay influences.

Tao go one step farther, many gay, trans and others are very clear that they MUST recruit from the young or their lifestyle will die off. It is truly that simple.

LuLu
LuLu
7 days ago

I would like to know the number of actual transgender students enrolled in Texas Schools.

Bill Fox
Bill Fox
7 days ago

Protecting young women? I guess as long as they aren’t raped and forced to have a baby illegally forced on them.

PTh
PTh
4 days ago

Seems to me the virtue signaling is coming from all those folks with the capital “R” next to their names….