The Dallas-Fort Worth area’s Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District voted on Monday night to outlaw teaching and promoting “critical race theory” and “gender fluidity” in educational settings. The plan also states that if a student’s pronouns do not correspond to the gender assigned to them at birth, teachers may choose not to use them.
According to the reports, the district’s school board members of the GCISD Board of Trustees voted 4-3 in favor of the group of policies. This also makes it easier to ban books from school libraries, restrict which restrooms students can use, and for a directive that some locals have dubbed the “Don’t Say Trans” policy.
Any discussion of gender that implies that “sex is only a social construct” or that “it is conceivable for a person to be any gender or non depending purely on that person’s feelings” is considered “gender fluidity,” according to the policy mentioned above. According to the literary news website Book Riot, the policy also prohibits discussing the idea that sex can be “changed to match a self-believed gender that is distinct from the person’s biological sex.”
According to the regulation, even if a parent approves of their use, teachers are not required to refer to pupils by pronouns that correspond to their gender identity, according to the Texas Tribune. Sports participation will also be prohibited for all trans pupils.
The public comment period at the meeting when the board voted to approve these principles attracted approximately 200 speakers, prompting the board to vote on these recommendations at around midnight. Steven Monacelli, a free-lance journalist, was present and captured footage of several of the statements made in public during the evening. Julie McCarty, the CEO of the True Texas Project, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has designated as an extremist organisation, spoke as one of the speakers.
The proposal was supported by anti-trans extremist Kelly Neidert, who has previously called for “rounding up” attendees of LGBTQ+ Pride events.
Many speakers opposed the regulations were present, including parents of children, LGBTQ+ students, and one clergyman who denounced the board’s “fascist agenda.”
Becky St. John, one of the board’s trustees, attacked the policies for restricting teachers’ ability to discuss concepts in the classroom, claiming that doing so would “overburden them” and “harm students.”
St. John said, as per the reports, “I am so sad for the youngsters in our district whose education is going to be hindered.”
In a fact sheet released earlier this month, the ACLU of Texas spoke out against the restrictions, claiming that they would “restrict students’ right to learn and communicate about ideas, particularly concepts linked to Black, Brown, and LGBTQ+ identities, systematic inequity, and the history of inequality.”
According to reports, it is noted that many board members were recently elected and ran on conservative agendas. The new restrictions highlight that school boards are becoming a political battleground, which is poor news for queer and trans students because, according to a recent survey, less than one-tenth of one per cent of all school board members nationwide identify as LGBTQ+.