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FWISD Transgender Guidelines Expected To Be School Board Meeting Topic

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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) - Parents, supporters and protestors are expected to gather again in Fort Worth tonight. The transgender bathroom issue is expected to come up during the Fort Worth Independent School District school board meeting.

Those for and against the district's transgender guidelines are expected to speak during the public comments period.

Tonight is a regularly scheduled FWISD school board meeting, but the board will hold four public forums, beginning next week, to talk about the implementation of the district's guidelines.

The outrage stems from a 2011 FWISD non-discrimination policy that Superintendent Kent Scribner updated last month to say that the district must accommodate transgender students. The policy states students should have access to the bathroom that is consistent with "the gender identity that each student consistently and uniformly asserts."

Soon after the announcement at the April 19 school board meeting, Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick called for Scriber's resignation, saying the superintendent overstepped his power by not having school board vote on the changes or get input from parents. But since Scribner's transgender policy changes are "administrative guidelines," there was no school board approval needed for the superintendent to implement them.

Superintendent Scribner said he had no intention of stepping down and that each new policy or change was made deliberately. "When we create a supervised, safe, and respectful place, everyone's privacy and dignity is honored," he said.

Tonight the school board will get an update on Title IX (sex discrimination) federal guidelines when they meet in executive session. They'll also be seeking the advice of attorneys concerning any possible legal action concerning the updated non-discrimination policy.

While the transgender guidelines are not on the school board meeting agenda, people, speaking on both sides of the issue, packed a FWISD school board meeting two weeks ago. In fact, people waited in line in the parking lot to get inside the auditorium and not everyone who wanted to sound off at the podium had a chance. Some people say they plan to arrive even earlier for the meeting tonight.

The Board of Education of the FWISD will hold their meeting at 5:30 p.m., at the FWISD Board Complex located at 2903 Shotts Street.

There will be meetings where the FWISD Transgender Guidelines are the topic. Over the next two weeks the district will hold a series of community forums on the issue. The meetings will take place at four Fort Worth ISD high schools and all will start at 7 p.m.

Tuesday, May 31 at Dunbar High School, hosted by Trustee Christene C. Moss
Wednesday, June 1 at Poly High School, hosted by Trustees Tobi Jackson and T.A. Sims
Thursday, June 2 at Paschal High School, hosted by Trustee Dr. Matthew Avila
Monday, June 6 at Arlington Heights H.S., hosted by Trustees Judy Needham and Norm Robbins
Tuesday, June 7 at North Side High School, hosted by Board President/District 1 Trustee Jacinto Ramos
• Thursday, June 9 at South Hills High School, hosted by Trustee Dr. Ann Sutherland

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