Today, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued an opinion saying Fort Worth ISD’s transgender student guidelines are in violation of both Chapter 11 and 26 of the Texas Education Code.

The opinion comes in response to Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick’s inquiry on whether the district superintendent, Kent Scribner, had the authority to adopt the guidelines without a vote by the school board or public comment.

“To the extent that the Transgender Student Guidelines adopted by the Fort Worth Independent School District superintendent limit parental access to information about their child and operate to encourage students to withhold information from parents contrary to the provisions in chapter 26, they violate state law.”

The opinion went on to say:

“While a superintendent is authorized to recommend policies to be adopted by the board, chapter 11 requires that policy decisions, like those addressing parental involvement with students’ gender identity choices, be addressed by the board of trustees prior to the development of any related administrative regulations.”

The opinion invalidates Scribner’s claim that the changes to student guidelines, which allowed teachers to withhold information from parents, were an administrative decision that fell under his jurisdiction.

Patrick issued a statement saying, “In light of this Attorney General opinion, and the overwhelming opposition to these policies, I once again call upon Superintendent Scribner to pull down his illegal policies. If he does not, I call upon him to tender his resignation.”

Fort Worth ISD has yet to issue a response to Paxton’s opinion, but a school board meeting is scheduled tonight and this topic is sure to be addressed.

Charles Blain

Charles Blain is the president of Urban Reform and Urban Reform Institute. A native of New Jersey, he is based in Houston and writes on municipal finance and other urban issues.