FWISD controversial "Transgender Policy"

Lt. Gov. Patrick demands resignation

The Tuesday, May 10 School Board meeting  was protested by Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who demanded Dr. Scribner's resignation over implementing a policy that prohibits sexual discrimination, in compliance with  Title IX.

Scribner Supporters wore red to show they agree with  the Superintedent's policy of non-discrimination. Several pro-policy speakers presented their opinions on this issue, including one educator with a  Doctorate in human sexuality.

Dr. Rita Cotterly of Fort Worth, a professor at TCU, gave these remarks in support of the policy:

"I do not speak this evening as a result of hearsay or feelings but from thirty years of study and experience.

For 25 years, I was a junior high teacher, middle school  principal and a TCU professor.  In my second career I was a sexuality educator with a doctorate in human sexuality from New York University  and membership in WPATH, World Professional Association for Transgender Health. From 1990 – 2010 I served 500 transgendered clients here in Tarrant and adjacent counties,  ages ranged from 9 to 85 years.

None of these individuals stated that they were identifying differently from their birth certificate because they wanted to upset their parents, spouses, or children.

They were not “going through a phase.” These individuals came in confused, uninformed and frightened.

The younger they were the more they trusted their experiences as to who they were.  All the clients, regardless of age, suffered the fear of family rejection and society’s discrimination.

Two different families brought in their 5th and 6th grade children, one with a female body and a male brain and the other with a male body and a female brain.  Because the nearby school district would not accommodate their restroom needs, both children suffered from bladder infections to the extent that the parents withdrew their children to home school them.

This was a terrible financial burden for the parents and a tremendous sadness on the part of the children who were separated from their peers and rejected by the school district.

  When we are born, the doctor assigns our gender based on the genitals.  Most of the time, this is accurate; in some cases it is not.

Now, we know that gender is not determined by the genitals but by the brain.  People are mislabeled at birth – due to no one’s fault.  Being transgendered is not a condition, choice, illness, sin or character flaw.  For many, it’s a matter of life or death.

It is a strong and persistent desire to be the gender that one’s brain indicates. Transgendered individuals are marginalized, stigmatized, discriminated against and still, they stand. They want to be accepted and respected for who they are and they want the same opportunities and rights of every one else.

By typing in "transchildren' on YouTube, you will meet some of the most courageous, healthy, informed and loving families in the world.

Let’s give these children and families the support and acceptance that they need to grow into healthy adults by implementing your enlightened, practical and compassionate policies that you have written for them.

Thank you. "        — Dr. Rita Cotterly

 

When  Lt. Gov. Patrick gave his speech, he spoke to the cameras, he did not look at  anyone in attendance. He also did not attend the actual school board meeting which followed. He just left.

Many parents & educators attended the rally and spoke in support of this policy. One stated  "most of the people with objections to the policy were rude, aggressive, and some got physically violent, and they were removed by the Police."

A parent stated "Their angry rhetoric convinces me that they are the parents of the school bullies who attack gay and trans kids."

  • In all the anger, has anyone stopped to ask the  students 'straight' and  trans –NOT the parents– what this policy means to them?
  • Have we heard from any transgender student who is willing to go public on this issue? 
    We will publish any essays sent in, and will respect your privacy and not publish your name unless we have  consent.
  • In the past 5 years, how many complaints were filed by STUDENTS regarding the actions of a transitioning student?
  • If the students are OK with the new policy, and "it's no big deal" to them if a trans person is in class or using the restroom with them, why are the parents so upset?

To see the full meeting, you can watch it from the district's website:

http://www.fwisd.org/pages/FWISD/Departments_Programs/Departments__A-K_/Communications/Pages/Streaming_Media

 

http://fortworthisd.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3622

 

Dr. Scribner emphatically stated that he is about safety for all students,  EQUITY, and at a previous presentation referenced this cartoon. His focus is on providing a safe place for each student to achieve their best academically, even if it means things are not equal, but equitable.

 

We welcome your opinions, and will publish opposing views, as long as the content remains 'G' rated, suitable for all readers. NO cursing, name calling, disparaging or vile language. Thank you.

"Transgender Policy" Facts

 

For your clarification, we are publishing links to the controversial "bathroom policy" that has made national news this week.

Trustee Tobi Jackson told me this policy has been quietly in practice for OVER five years. FIVE! So it is not new, but it is now "news" because of fearmongering by paranoid politicians.

Here is the actual POLICY published on FWISD site. Here is the same thing as a PDF you can download & print.

GMN has used a different font when quoting directly from the policy. The main points from the policy we want our readers to understand:

 

"The District prohibits discrimination, including harassment, against any student on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, national origin, disability, or any other basis prohibited by law. The district prohibits dating violence, as defined by this policy.

Retaliation against any one involved in the complaint process is a violation of District policy and is prohibited."

"Discrimination on the basis of sex, including sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, and sexual violence are prohibited by Title IX."

 

This policy that protects trans and gay students also protects girls from controlling and violent boyfriends!

 

Privacy and Confidentiality

All students have a right to privacy. This includes keeping a student's actual or perceived gender identity and expression private. School personnel may only share this information on a need-to-know basis or as the student directs. This includes sharing information with the student's parent or guardian.

A name in a school's database is part of an official educational record and is therefore covered by the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)."

 

Restrooms and Related Facilities

Students must feel comfortable and safe in the use of restrooms and locker room facilities. Under no circumstances may a school require a student to use facilities that are potentially unsafe for the student.

If other students feel uncomfortable sharing a restroom with a transgender student, or if a student has a need or desire for increased privacy, the school must allow the student(s) access to a single stall restroom, a gender neutral restroom, or the opportunity to visit the facility when other students are not present.

The single-user restroom, however, must not be given as the only option for transgender students who need or desire increased privacy.

Any student who has a need or desire for increased privacy in a locker room facility may have access to a reasonable accommodation such as the following:

a.  Assignment of a student locker near the staff office or a supportive peer group;

b.  Use of a private area within the public area of the locker room facility (e.g., nearby restroom stall with a door or an area separated by a curtain);

c.  Use of a nearby private area; or

d.  A separate changing schedule.

TCTA disappointed by Texas Supreme Court ruling on school finance

AUSTIN, May 13, 2016 — The Texas Classroom Teachers Association is disappointed in today's Texas Supreme Court ruling to uphold the school funding system.

We believe it is clear that our public school system is underfunded and inequitable. The tension between performance expectations and inadequate resources for schools is not going to go away because of this decision. For the millions of Texas schoolchildren, parents and teachers who deserve better, we hope legislators will heed the court’s suggestion to “seize this urgent challenge.”

When the Legislature convenes in January, lawmakers must make significantly improving education funding a priority, so that schools have the resources to match the increasing expectations and challenges of educating this state's diverse population.

To arrange interviews for further comment, call Clare Haefner at 888-879-8282 or email communications@tcta.org.

Texas Classroom Teachers Association | PO Box 1489 | Austin, TX 78767 | 888-879-8282 | tcta.org

 

Press Release PDF

Public Forums

Some of the speakers who have stood before large, hostile crowds at the school board forums, have provided their comments for publication. These are the 3 minute speeches they gave before the school board. The complete essays are on the blog/archive page for permanent storage, and are the personal opinions of the authors. Please submit your essay to editor@greatermeadowbrooknews.com

Organizations like LGBTQSaves.org  help students who do not identify with the  binary roles of male/female, also work with the district.

The mission of LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S. is to foster the well-being of LGBTQ students and staff in the public schools of Fort Worth and surrounding communities by promoting safe, egalitarian, and supportive environments and policies. To that end, LGBTQ S.A.V.E.S. works to provide LGBTQ students and their families with resources related to LGBTQ issues, and with safe spaces for social and personal development.

This is a good group to contact if you have more questions.

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