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Thursday, September 28, 2023


Conservative politics limit tolerance for transgender students

Fort Worth Independent School District's guidelines, which were announced on April 26, address transgender student's access to restroom and locker room facilities. | Graphic by The Cougar

Fort Worth ISD Transgender Student Guidelines, which were announced on April 26, address transgender student’s access to restroom and locker room facilities. | Graphic by The Cougar

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is again using conservative politics to keep bigotry alive by calling for the resignation of Kent Scribner, superintendent of the Fort Worth Independent School District.

It wasn’t a scandal or failure to perform duties — Patrick feels that Scribner’s acknowledgment and creation of guidelines for transgender people is a failure to the school system and Texas’ values.

Shame on you, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick. Your self-righteous claim that Scribner is unfit for his position because of his actions is laughable.

Scribner may not have the power that comes with being the lieutenant governor, but he and his school board have done something your office and the rest of the state’s conservative politicians have refused to do.

Protecting all students regardless of race, sex or religion should be this state’s No. 1 priority.

“Fort Worth Independent School District (the “District”) seeks to ensure health and safety of all students, prevent discrimination and bullying, foster a conductive learning environment for all students, and provide equal access and opportunity to participate in all programs and activities,” part of the opening of Fort Worth ISD Transgender Student Guidelines read.

To Patrick, the superintendent-approved document controls Fort Worth’s children, opens doors to sexual predators and gives children a reason to question their sexuality.

Conservative, liberal or independent — these guidelines are more important than petty politics. We are talking about people. No matter what gender identity a person has, we should not take away their rights as Americans.

As human beings.

Someone who was born anatomically different than the gender they identify with should be respected. A transgender woman should be allowed to use the women’s restroom. It’s that simple.

I have news for you, Lt. Gov.: Sexual predators aren’t going to stop because a sign says “females only.” Spreading fear to gain support for something that most people fully don’t understand is something you do well.

After spending much money on negative campaign ads against the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) last year, the Lt. Gov. claimed a victory for Texas’ values and politics when it was defeated with a two-to-one margin.

One thing is clear about these ads: They are aimed to make you think every man who identifies as a woman is not a woman at all, but is likely a sexual predator.

I thank God that this country is going to leave people like Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick in the dust. With the president advising schools to set guidelines for transgender students, we can look to a future where everyone is accepted regardless of the homophobia and intolerance of a few.

My daughter turns two in a couple of months. One day she might be in the same restroom as a transgender woman. On that day, I will thank God I live in a country where my daughter, that woman and — hopefully — everyone else can enjoy the freedoms of this country.

Opinion editor Frank Campos is a media production senior and may be reached at [email protected]


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