Fight grows against Dripping Springs ISD transgender bathroom policy

Dripping Springs ISD recently decided to allow a transgender elementary school student to use the girl's restroom. The fight against that new bathroom policy continues to grow.

Texas Values is a faith-based organization that's helping parents and students get their message out. They say this issue affects safety, privacy and dignity. A press conference was held on Monday for that very reason.

10-year-old Shiloh is a 4th grader within Dripping Springs ISD. She may be young but she wasn't afraid to voice her concerns Monday in regards to the transgender bathroom issue.

"Even if a boy wants to be a girl, they're not. They still have the body parts of a little boy. I think that the bathroom and many other things should be based on their gender, not what they would like to be, their real gender," says Shiloh Satterfield, 4th grade student.

Many are against the district's policy to allow a student, who was born a boy, to use the girl's bathroom at Walnut Springs Elementary School because that's how he identifies.

"When you have a such a drastic change in policy and procedure, that affects over 5,000 students across the district, it should be no surprise that parents want answers," says Jonathan Saenz, Texas Values, president.

The district says they didn't notify parents to protect the child's privacy. We're told the child used a private bathroom last year and this year is using the girl's bathroom.

"You continue to see the board members not engage on this issue, act like they aren't going to talk about it, that there's not some requirement of them to take a vote. In Fort Worth, they tried to do something similar and the attorney general's office came down with an opinion and said, 'This is the type of change that has to be voted on by the school board," says Saenz,.

They believe Dripping Springs will be told the same. For more than two months, many parents have showed up to school board meetings and have asked that this item be placed on the agenda. Each time they have been denied.

"This is not a board-level discussion for us because we are working individually with students and on a case-by-case basis with their families. This is really a campus-level issue," says Superintendent Bruce Gearing, Dripping Springs ISD.

In response, parents submitted a public information request in hopes of learning more about the district's new policy. Texas Values says that has been denied as well and that the district is asking Attorney General Ken Paxton to support their position of withholding the information. The superintendent says safety is still their top priority.

"We work individually with families who have concerns about the safety of our children. We make sure they feel settled and comfortable. We want their kids to be comfortable in school because then they learn better," says Gearing.

State Representative Jason Isaac is also involved in the fight and has two students within the district.
He expects a bill will be filed in response to all of this.

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