News (USA)

Texas school board bans teachers from saying that trans people exist

Teacher and a student with masks.
Photo: Shutterstock

A local school board in Texas has adopted a sweeping new set of guidelines that ban discussion about the existence of transgender people – which they call “gender fluidity” – and critical race theory, prohibits the use of pronouns that aren’t aligned with the sex on a student’s birth certificate, and restricts use of restrooms and locker rooms, among other new prohibitions.

The new guidelines, approved by the Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District near Dallas, are the result of a concerted campaign organized by conservative Christian group Patriot Mobile Action, which has spent millions of dollars electing conservative majorities to Texas school boards.

Hundreds of residents showed up to the contentious meeting Monday night, with a majority speaking out against the proposed restrictions.

Among a far-right wish list of prohibitions, the new rules include guidance based on flawed definitions.

“Gender Fluidity” is defined in the text as “any theory or ideology that (1) espouses the view that biological sex is merely a social construct; (2) espouses the view that it is possible for a person to be any gender or none (i.e., non-binary); or (3) espouses the view that an individual’s biological sex should be changed to ‘match’ a self-believed gender that is different from the person’s biological sex.”

Gender fluidity is actually the idea that a person’s gender identity or expression can change over time. What the school board is calling gender fluidity is, in fact, the idea that transgender people exist at all.

Also, “nonbinary” means that a person isn’t male or female; it doesn’t necessarily mean they have no gender (that’s usually called agender).

The district also banned the use of pronouns for students and teachers “in any manner that is inconsistent with the biological sex of such person.” The district also limited the use of restrooms and other facilities to the one associated with a person’s gender on their “biological birth certificate.”

The district also banned teaching certain aspect of the history of racism in the U.S., specifically citing the 1619 Project and “critical race theory,” a catch-all term used by conservatives to describe teaching about racism in history.

Over a hundred people spoke in opposition to the proposal, including a United Methodist pastor who said the guidelines reflect a “fascist agenda” that does not represent Christian values.

A Patriot Mobile activist can be seen behind him.

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