After a group of Texas lawmakers urged school boards to leave the Texas Association of School Boards following its endorsement of “transgender” restroom policies, the organization accused them of using “both misinformation and disinformation.”
TASB is a statewide taxpayer-funded lobbying group for school officials that provides products and services to school districts. All 1,024 Texas school boards are TASB members and pay their dues with tax dollars.
Earlier this week, State Rep. Brian Harrison (R–Midlothian) and eight other legislators sent a letter to every school board in the state, encouraging them to “do the right thing for the taxpayers who entrust you with the stewardship of their hard-earned money and immediately leave TASB.”
The lawmakers condemned TASB’s recently updated legal guidance pushing public 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.
In response, TASB claimed that the document was not official legal guidance and only served as an “FAQ” for interested educators instead of a “binding directive.” The organization also asserted that it did not aim to influence school districts’ policies surrounding gender-confused students. However, TASB’s legal advice said that school districts “should also use the preferred name and gender of the transgender student unless specifically prohibited by law.”
TASB’s original document advised school officials that when gender-confused students request to use the restroom of the opposite sex, “there is no law that prohibits a district from granting the transgender student’s request to use these facilities.”
Although TASB claimed that they encouraged school districts to “work closely with parents and students,” their legal advice 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.” However, the Texas Education Code guarantees parents “full information” about their children’s school records.
The lawmakers’ letter also condemned TASB for taking over a year to leave the National School Board Association after the group compared concerned parents to “domestic terrorists.”
In their reply, TASB claimed that they waited for the results of an independent investigation that “disclosed new details about the development of the letter” before deciding to leave the NSBA.
On social media, Harrison condemned TASB’s response and accused the organization of acting against children’s best interests:
TASB is scared. They should be. Parents are learning their tax dollars are being weaponized against them and their children.
Over the next few months, while Texas’ 88th Legislative Session is underway, state lawmakers will make decisions on important education policies for the statewide education system. Concerned citizens can use Texas Scorecard’s Elected Officials Directory to contact their lawmakers.