A conservative North Texas school district is proposing new policies designed to counter “transgender” ideology being pushed into schools by the federal government and their far-left activist allies.
Keller Independent School District trustees previewed revisions to several district policies at Tuesday night’s school board meeting.
Two proposed policies drew complaints from local LGBTQ advocates, as well as the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas: one requiring sex-separated bathrooms, and the other preventing forced use of “preferred pronouns.”
Facility Standards: The District will maintain restrooms, locker rooms, and similar facilities separated by biological sex. Individuals are expected to use the facility corresponding to their gender assigned at birth unless a reasonable accommodation is granted for students seeking privacy.
Identification of Students: District employees will not promote or require the use of pronouns that are inconsistent with an individual’s biological sex as it appears on an individual’s birth certificate.
ACLU-Texas sent a letter to Keller ISD officials on the day of the meeting, claiming the policies “violate federal law and severely misinterpret Texas state law,” as well as “defy best practices” recommended by the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB).
The letter is designed to bully Keller ISD into adopting “transgender” ideology or risk losing federal education funds.
The ACLU and other groups promoting extremist LGBTQ ideologies have been “weaponizing” the Biden administration’s recent interpretation of Title IX that equates sex with gender identity or “transgender” status, according to a lawsuit filed this month by the Texas attorney general’s office.
Groups led by ACLU-Texas lodged a “sex discrimination” complaint against Keller ISD last year over guidelines that exclude content promoting gender ideology.
During Tuesday’s school board meeting, dozens of Keller parents, students, teachers, and community members spoke both for and against the proposed new policies.
Proponents said sex-separated facilities protect girls’ privacy and noted the pronoun policy allows individuals the freedom to decide what language to use.
One longtime teacher told trustees the district needs to “get back to the foundation of education,” adding that radical sexual ideologies “have no place in our educational system.”
Local resident Doug Hinds said the proposed bathroom and pronoun policies “should be adopted immediately,” adding that “the majority of the Keller ISD community supports these policies and believes respecting biological reality and supporting mental health for all students is a good thing.”
“Keller has spoken, and it’s time for the woke radicals to move out of the way,” said resident Jennifer Matchett.
Opponents of the proposed “anti-LGBTQ” policies included several parents of “transgender” students.
“By endorsing their pronouns, you acknowledge their truth,” said one mom.
Others called “intentionally misgendering” students a “micro-aggression,” “bullying,” and “just mean.” Some suggested the policies would directly cause students to commit suicide.
Following the meeting, Keller parent and public education watchdog Kathy Booher said the student identification policy “cranked up the radical extremists.”
“I’m convinced that not one of the speakers against it actually read it,” she said. “If they had read it, they would know that the policy does not ban the use of preferred pronouns.”
Booher said the proposed policy protects the free speech rights of everyone associated with the district.
“What this policy does is protect those who believe differently about the use of preferred pronouns,” she said. “Forcing a person to participate in speech they object to goes against the compelled speech doctrine of the First Amendment.”
So, your boy can still call himself a girl. Your girl can still call herself a boy. You all can use whatever pronouns you want. What you cannot do is compel others to speak in ways that violate their consciences. That would be unconstitutional.
The proposed policies follow months of changes put forward and passed by a growing number of pro-family school board members elected over the past three years, including policies that keep sexually explicit books out of school libraries and allow armed educators to protect students.
With the election of trustees John Birt and Chris Coker this May, conservative voters in Keller ISD have now seated a 6-1 majority.
In addition to adopting fresh policies, the new board will soon be selecting a new superintendent for the district.
Tuesday’s meeting marked the last for outgoing Superintendent Rick Westfall, who announced his retirement earlier this month, though he plans to stay on in an advisory capacity through the end of 2023.