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School choice, of a sort


The Toilet Wars rage on: Thanks to pressure and freakouts from Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick and Attorney General Ken Paxton, the Fort Worth Independent School District has thrown out what had been a very supportive policy for transgender students and replaced it with one that will force trans kids to come out to their parents if they want any accommodations at all. Because Texas is terrible. Under the old policy, the school district's chief goal was to support and respect trans students. Under the new rules, the main goal is keeping transphobic politicians and parents happy, while maybe helping trans students whose parents won't throw them out, one hopes.

The abrupt change follows months of controversy, fanned by Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (R), who asked Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) to issue a legal opinion assessing whether the Fort Worth ISD’s original guidance violated state law. Paxton concluded that it did because it instructed school personnel not to out students to their parents without their consent, which he interpreted as violating a statute that prohibits a school district employee from “encouraging or coercing” a child to withhold information from the child’s parents [...]

The new guideline, issued Wednesday, offers no provision for what happens if a trans student approaches a school official seeking guidance but is concerned that they will not be accepted at home.

Yup. Helping trans kids without outing them to their possibly vengeful parents is a violation of the parents' inalienable right to disown their kid. Otherwise, the schools, all run by radicals, would be transgender indoctrination centers, convincing kids to switch gender identities because that's part of the commie liberal agenda.

The new guideline instructs schools to "work collaboratively" with students and their parents to "develop individual support plans," and all questions involving dressing rooms, restroom use, and even what name the kids will go by will be addressed on "a case-by-case basis." Sounds very accommodating, as long as parents and trans teens are in perfect agreement. Can't imagine any scenarios where a parent would insist that no matter what their trans kid thinks, there's no way any son of theirs is going to start calling himself Brenda. The policy is unclear on whether trans students would be required to man up and go out for football or stop dressing like godddamn tomboys. And then there's the language on terlets, which as we all know from the Republican Convention is a silly distraction that Republicans can't seem to cease having the howling fantods over:

If a restroom or related facility accommodation is requested, the campus administrator should meet with the student and his/her parent(s)/guardian(s) to discuss the student’s request for access to restrooms, locker rooms, or changing facilities. Each accommodation request will be reviewed and addressed on a case-by-case basis based upon the particular circumstances of the individual student and school facilities. The goal will be the creation of a safe and supportive environment for students impacted by the accommodation with due recognition of the privacy rights of all students.

As a general rule, in all facilities or activities when students may be separated by gender, transgender students may participate in accordance with the student individual support plan.

In short, a trans students' parents will decide whether the kid can request accommodations. Think you belong in the boys' room? Not if your parents tell you you were born a girl and you're staying a girl, now put on this nice cotton dress, you. Just as Texas's abortion laws are all about women's safety, the pressure on schools to out trans student to their parents is all about fostering good communication in families.

As GLSEN previously explained to ThinkProgress, this could have a devastating impact on trans students. Outing them to their parents could even lead to them being kicked out of their home, only furthering endangering their ability to access an education.

Not surprisingly, A.G. Paxton is over the transphobic moon at this development, because his brain works backwards:

Paxton praised the changes on Wednesday for allowing “school officials to consider the needs of students and their families on a case-by-case basis while considering the health and safety of all students.”

Paxton also said the Fort Worth plan would work just fine for the town of Harrold, where the school district decided absolutely no accommodations for trans students are needed, since God made you a boy or a girl and that's that. See? It's all about local choice. Unless the local schools choose to let students be ungodly perverts.

[ThinkProgress / Times Record News]

Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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