Texas Lt. Gov. Accused of Political Grandstanding Over Trans Bathroom Policy
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is being accused of political grandstanding over Fort Worth ISD superintendent's transgender bathroom policy. Patrick once again called for the resignation of superintendent Kent Scriber on Tuesday (5/10/2016), angered by his implementation of a bathroom policy for transgendered students in the district.
He was, nevertheless, greeted with boos as several Fort Worth figures and citizens alike told him to stay out of the issue.
"We got this," school board President Jacinto Ramos assured Patrick, stating that his time would be better spent in Austin, addressing school finance issues and not in Fort Worth interfering with local policies.
Others accused the Lt. Gov. of taking his position merely to direct the spotlight on himself as he yearns for national attention. Former Forth Worth council member Joel Burns decried Patrick's "fake outrage", being used as a tool simply to further his own political career and agenda.
As for the policy itself, it allows transgender students to use the bathroom of their choice. The policy has been in effect in the district since 2011.
Members of the school board say they suspect that it is only now being called into question due to the recent fervor following North Carolina adopting laws to prevent transgendered citizens from using restrooms assigned for the opposite sex.
Scriber says that he will not resign despite pressure from a number of conservative groups including the Texas Values Group. Nicole Hudgens, a member of that organization, says that the policy is not nessesary and that the school board has failed to provide proof that there is an ongoing problem with transgendered students feeling bullied in this respect.
She especially takes issue because parents were not consulted before the policy was implemented.
Lt. Gov. Patrick first called for Scribner's resignation on Monday, stating that the superintendent overstepped his bounds by instituting the policy without first opening it for discussion among parents, staff and community leaders.
Scribner, however, has only held the position since the Fall of 2015. Although Scriber did adjust language in the policy to make it more transparent, the policy pre-dates his term as superintendent by nearly four years.
“I call upon the parents within the Fort Worth ISD to take immediate steps to repeal this stealthy scheme and remove Dr. Scribner from his post,” Patrick said in a prepared statement.