Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described Julie Pickren as a member of Gulf Coast Community Action Agency’s executive board. It has been corrected to remove that inaccurate description.
Last weekend, a first-of-its-kind Texas training for school board officials was hosted in Southlake by the Gulf Coast Community Action Agency (GCCAA).
“The training we’re doing here today is for school board trustees, school board candidates, superintendents, school administrators, and it’s fulfilling the requirements of the Texas Education Code for what’s required training for school board trustees,” speaker Julie Pickren told The Dallas Express.
Pickren, who served on the board of Allen ISD and is now running for the Texas State Board of Education in District 7, said the training covers budgets, legislative updates, safety and security, human trafficking, and all other state requirements for trustee education.
“We’re also providing it for candidates,” she said, “so that when they’re elected, [they] are effective from the minute they swear in because they’re already trained.”
Pickren told The Dallas Express this weekend’s training included mostly elected trustees with a mix of trustee candidates and superintendents.
“We received Texas Education Agency approval about three weeks ago, so this is our first training,” she said. “We have over 250 registered participants.”
Trustee trainings are usually executed by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB), but their trainings are “woke,” according to Pickren.
She said GCCAA decided to implement this training “because there was not a trustee training available from a conservative point of view. Everything that’s been available has been very woke, very much agenda-driven. So, our whole focus is to get back to the basics — to get back to reading, writing, science, math — and leave the cultural experiments out of the classroom.”
Among the various presentations on the aforementioned subjects, Pickren delivered a lecture on Title IX and how it has been expanded.
“In America, this expansion of Title IX is not the first time we have experienced this,” she said. “When I was a trustee in 2015, the Obama administration sent an email letter to every school district in Texas that said in order to receive federal funds, they had to make their bathrooms and their locker rooms gender neutral.”
Pickren said her district wrote a letter back to the administration saying, “Thank you for your concern about children in our school district in Texas, but we know what’s best for our children, and that is not what’s best for our children.”
Pickren added that two weeks ago, a “non-government, taxpayer-funded lobbyist firm” brought in the ACLU to train trustees on how to circumvent Texas law to “put boys in girls’ sports … put boys in girls’ locker rooms, and … put boys in girls’ restrooms.”
While the definition of Title IX was expanded via executive order by the Biden administration to include gender identity and allow “cross-dressing” in schools, the law is still on the side of those who want to observe Title IX in its original intent “to protect biological females,” according to Pickren.
“The law is on our side,” said Pickren.
“We have all these court cases that do support Title IX as it was written to protect biological females,” she added. “Another thing we did last year was we passed a wonderful law called House Bill 25 that was authored by my dear friend, Representative Valarie Swanson.”
“House Bill 25 says that biological males cannot participate in UIL events for girls or girls’ sports,” she continued.
Pickren said some judges in Travis County were changing the sex listed on a student’s birth certificate within days of receiving the request from the student’s parents, which is “why we wrote the law very specifically that it says it has to be the set [sex] assigned to the child at or near the time of birth.”
“That is the current law of the state of Texas,” she continued. “We have all these court rulings in our favor. We have [the] actual original law in 1972 that says it. Now we have a state law in Texas, which by the way, has been challenged and sued, and we won that also.”
“The girls’ sports bill is the law in Texas,” she said.
More information about the Gulf Coast Community Action Agency school board trainings can be found here.