Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton says the Fort Worth school district’s guidelines for transgender students violate state law.
Paxton issued the non-binding opinion on Tuesday. In it, he wrote that policies announced last month by the district relegated "parents to a subordinate status" since the policies were created without proper parental input or consent.
The wide-ranging guidelines direct school staff to respect students’ gender identity and make adjustments for their safety – like offering the use of a single-stall restroom or a bathroom where other students are not present.
Fort Worth Superintendent Kent Scribner didn't go through the school board when announcing the guidelines but has said he’s confident they’re legal.
A Republican, Paxton has previously said he thought the guidelines violated state education code.
District officials said they had no comment Tuesday afternoon.
Supporters and opponents of the guidelines spoke out at a school trustee meeting Tuesday night.
Fort Worth parent Chris Sullivan criticized the school board for a lack of transparency.
“Fort Worth ISD’s core beliefs and strategic goals -- which are behind y’all, hopefully y’all looked at them last time you were here like I suggested – indicate we should have active participation in,” Sullivan says. “This has not happened with the adoption of the transgender guidelines. Parents and community were shunned from this.”
Nathan, a transgender man and a graduate of Trimble Tech, said the policy could save lives.
“For some trans individuals, school is their safe place, believe it or not,” Nathan says. “These guidelines could be life-saving. It would’ve made a world of difference if they were in place when I was in school.”