A Texas legislative candidate slammed Dallas ISD in a primary debate last week for its promotion of transgender procedures exposed by The Dallas Express.

Chris Spencer, who is challenging Rep. Gary VanDeaver (R-New Boston) for a seat in the Texas House, said the school district is filled with “wokeness.”

“If I had a child living at home right now, that child would attend Hugh Springs public school, no question about it,” Spencer said. “For instance, if they’re in Dallas ISD and it’s indoctrinated with, we’ll use the word ‘wokeness,’ or a curriculum guide that states if a child wants gender modification, their parents have a workbook so they can be involved.”

“That’s just one of many examples for a situation I think parents deserve an option, whether it’s a charter school, public school, Christian school, private school, or home school,” he continued. “Funding follows that child.”

The reference to the district’s support of transgender ideology comes after The Dallas Express reported on a Dallas ISD resource guide for parents and students advising how to transition genders. The document, which was made private after the story was published, listed specific transgender clinics as resources and recommended books on being transgender for elementary school students.

Dallas ISD backtracked on another LGBTQ program last month after reporting from The Dallas Express. The district deleted webpages promoting its “Out for Safe Schools” program in partnership with the Resource Center, which provides transgender hormone usage. The program instructed teachers on how to be allies to LGBTQ students.

Documents obtained in open records requests by The Dallas Express showed the district struggled to get teachers to sign up for the program.

Meanwhile, the district has continued to put up dismal student achievement scores, with only 41% of students scoring at grade level on their STAAR tests during the 2021-2022 school year. At the same time, it has seen a decline in enrollment in recent years that coincides with a rise in alternative options for education such as charter schools.

VanDeaver complained during the debate that he is being challenged for his seat due to his opposition to school choice legislation last year.

“Let’s be honest,” VanDeaver said. “The reason we are here tonight is because I voted against vouchers. The governor said before I took that vote that if I voted against vouchers, ‘I am coming after you and will get someone to run against you.’ And, lo and behold, he did. We are here tonight to talk about those differences.”