Round Rock ISD in Central Texas has held a “shadow” policy that allows for transgender students to use bathrooms and locker rooms of the opposite gender on what the school says is a case-by-case basis, without parental knowledge.
Now the majority of the school board is denying parents the opportunity to sound off against the policy.
Last year, a senior girl attempted to change in her gender-specific locker room, but she was greeted by a male entering the girls’ locker room and undressing. The boy claimed that his gender identity was female and, after obtaining permission from the school, he proceeded to use female gender-specific locker rooms.
The school refused to inform parents and students of their choice to allow the boy into the girls’ locker rooms. Instead, the school only spoke with the transgender student and his parents and came to a quiet decision to allow him into the girls’ locker room, threatening the safety female students.
When the girl explained her frustration and fears, the school responded by making her return home during the school day to change into gym clothes whenever necessary.
Her parent was informed of the situation and became outraged, taking to defending their daughter’s privacy by filing a formal grievance complaint with the school district. Jonathan Saenz, Texas Values’ president and attorney, is representing the family in the grievance complaint.
The complaint required a formal hearing before the school district’s board of trustees, and the family requested it be a public hearing. However, the board of trustees is refusing the transparency of a public hearing and continues to shut down public testimonies against the school district’s secret transgender “shadow” policy.
“The majority of the Round Rock ISD board is continuing their track record of hostility to public comment and to parent concerns, making it clear they have something to hide,” said Saenz. “Round Rock ISD will email parents about contaminated lettuce, but they’ll keep you in the dark about what’s happening in the locker room.”
Round Rock ISD’s school board has remained cryptic and aggressive on the issue, claiming such situations are handled on a case-by-case basis, not by a set policy. Their “non-policy” is based on what Saenz characterizes as a faulty legal interpretation of the Supreme Court decision in Bostock v. Clayton County, which they have interpreted to mean that people are allowed in whichever bathroom is assigned to the gender they feel like being that day.
When Saenz requested more information regarding the school’s transgender case-by-case policy, the school district required a payment of $29,147.79 to fulfill the request. In response, Saenz appealed to the Texas Attorney General’s Office; the AG’s open records division is currently investigating the appeal.
The victim’s family continues to fight back against the district’s “shadow” policy.