The new guidelines, condensed to two pages, affirm transgender students’ right to accommodations but eliminate a portion of the April guidelines that told schools not to out transgender students to their parents out of concern for their safety.
The new guidelines require parents to be involved with students and administrators in developing a “student individual support plan,” including provisions for bathroom use. Clint Bond, a spokesman for Fort Worth ISD, said the change was insignificant.
“In essence, there’s no change from the original guidelines issued on April 19 compared with the ones issued today,” Bond said. “The wording is a little bit different. We always intended to involve parents in the decision.”
[AG Ken] Paxton seemed to disagree in a Wednesday morning press release cheering the new guidelines, which he said brought Fort Worth in line with the opinion he issued on June 28. Paxton concluded in his opinion that state law did not allow schools to conceal transgender students’ gender identity from their parents.
Jacinto Ramos, president of the Fort Worth school board, called Paxton’s opinion a “good road map” to the revised guidelines. He emphasized that the changes reflected input from parents, students and community members. The district held six town hall forums, and appointed 45 parents, teachers, and community leaders to a Student Safety Advisory Council that met five times.
Ramos said that the guidelines are meant to be comprehensive, and not just address which bathrooms transgender students use.
“The original guidelines were written with every intention to protect all children, and obviously it got twisted up into a so-called bathroom policy, which couldn’t have been further from the truth,” Ramos said.
See here and here for some background. If the policy was amended to conform to the recent AG opinion on the matter, then indeed that represents a small change. The story quotes Lou Weaver of Equality Texas giving approval to the new policy, though I have not seen a statement on EQTX’s Facebook page about this, which strikes me as a bit odd. Whatever, if this previously-expected modification satisfies the pottylust of the Dan Patrick crowd, then huzzah and hallelujah, let us please turn our attention to actual problems. I doubt it really will satisfy their lust because nothing ever does, but I’m hoping for the best.