Four Republican state legislators released a letter this week urging Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton to review the Texas Association of School Boards’ new legal guidelines for “transgender” students.
TASB is a statewide taxpayer-funded lobbying group for school officials that provides services to school districts. All 1,024 Texas school boards are TASB members and pay their dues with tax dollars.
Recently, the organization updated a 13-page document advising public school districts on the “legal rights of transgender students,” including a glossary featuring the radical gender ideology terms “sex assigned at birth,” “gender nonconforming,” and “gender-affirming care.”
The group told public school employees to use a student’s “preferred name” at school and their legal name on official documents if their parents disapprove of their “gender identity.”
TASB instructed schools to allow gender-confused students to use the restroom of the opposite sex, even if other students and their parents raise concerns. To defend their position, the group cited Title IX of the U.S. Department of Education’s sex discrimination codes and questioned the definitions of male and female.
“Title IX regulations have long permitted school districts to segregate male and female students in separate but comparable toilet, shower, and locker room facilities,” said TASB. “The legal issue presented by transgender students is how to define ‘male’ or ‘female’ when a student’s consistently expressed gender identity does not match the student’s assigned sex at birth.”
In response to TASB’s new recommendations, State Reps. Bryan Slaton (R–Royse City), Brian Harrison (R–Waxahachie), Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington), and Mark Dorazio (R–Leon Springs) published a letter calling for Paxton to review the document and “provide further guidance” to Texas school boards. The lawmakers accused TASB’s guidelines of endorsing radical gender ideology and endangering children attending public schools.
Today I was joined by @brianeharrison, @reptinderholt, and @DorazioforTexas in requesting AG @KenPaxtonTX to review the highly disturbing “transgender students” guidance that was recently published by the Texas Association of School Boards. #txlege pic.twitter.com/WATkBd8yuz
— Bryan Slaton (@BryanforHD2) January 16, 2023
“This radically pro-transgender legal advisory appears to encourage school districts to refrain from reporting child abuse and obscure information regarding children exhibiting gender dysphoria from their parents,” said the lawmakers. “The document also makes a bold declaration that says young girls would have no law protecting them from having a school district permit a biological male to enter their restroom or locker room.”
The lawmakers raised concerns that the guidelines will “effectively” create state policy because TASB advertises the document on its School Law eSource website, which public schools across the state use as a legal resource.
“Additionally, we ask that your office 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.”
On social media, Harrison urged Texas school board members to break from TASB.
A commitment to leave @tasbnews should be a litmus test for anyone running for school board claiming to be a “conservative.”
Concerned citizens can use Texas Scorecard’s Elected Officials Directory to contact their lawmakers.