Several Texas school officials and lawmakers have slammed the guidance issued by President Barack Obama's administration calling on all public schools to allow transgender students to use bathrooms corresponding with their gender identity.
On May 13, the Departments of Education and Justice issued a guidance to all U.S. public school systems warning that if they do not accommodate transgender students, then they could be in violation of Title IX, according to the Associated Press via KXAS.
If schools prohibit students from using restrooms or locker rooms corresponding with their gender identity, then the school could lose their federal funding.
Superintendent Dr. Rodney Cavness of Port Neches-Groves Independent School District in Texas swiftly blasted the guidance, deeming it government overreach.
“I don’t recognize President Obama,” Cavness told KFDM. “Nothing he does has any shred of leadership. When I get that letter I’ll throw it away.”
Cavness had not yet received the guidance or pamphlet, but was instead reacting to an announcement from the Obama administration declaring a stand on what has become a national controversy. He says he plans to shred the document when he gets it.
“This is one of those deals where it’s total overreach of the federal government,” Cavness continued. “The left has made this a big deal ... We can make accommodations for those kids. We don't want them bullied or mistreated.”
Cavnass also told KMBT:
I got news for President Barack Obama. He ain't my President and he can't tell me what to do. That letter (to be released to all public schools tomorrow) is going straight to the paper shredder. I have 5 daughters myself and I have 2,500 girls in my protection. Their moms and dads expect me to protect them. And that is what I am going to do. Now I don't want them bullied ... but there are accommodations that can be made short of this. He (President Obama) is destroying the very fiber of this country. He is not a leader. He is a failure.
Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick of Texas is similarly outraged by the guidance.
Enraged that the district had opted to accommodate transgender students’ bathroom preferences, Patrick demanded the resignation of the state’s Forth Worth superintendent on May 12,according to KXAS.
“This will be the beginning of the end of the public school system as we know it,” Patrick said. “President Obama, in the dark of the night … decides to issue an executive order, like this superintendent, forcing transgender policies on schools and on parents who clearly don’t want it.”
The topic of transgender bathroom laws was discussed at the Texas State Republican Convention, also on May 12.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas told his colleagues that his administration was in talks with Republican Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina, who banned anti-discrimination protections for gay and transgender people in the state on March 23, signaling that he would push for similar legislation.
North Carolina is being sued by the DOJ for the state's bathroom laws.
“I want you to know, I am working with the governor of North Carolina, and we are going to fight back,” Abbott said. “Our country is in crisis, and Texas must lead the way.”
Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas made transgender bathroom laws a talking point during the final days of his presidential bid. The former presidential candidate is planning to leverage the delegates he won during the GOP primary to make opposition to transgender accommodations a part of the Republican National Convention platform, according to Hot Air.