Earlier this year, Fort Worth ISD issued new guidelines for transgender students. If you recall, the guidelines made it acceptable for teachers and staff to withhold personal information about a student from that student’s parents. Furthermore, the manner in which these guidelines came into effect–without a public debate and vote by the school board or even an opportunity for parents to provide input–was also extremely concerning. I wrote an op ed defending the parent’s role in their child’s life and expressing my disappointment Fort Worth ISD would keep information about a student secret rather than communicating openly to the student’s parent.
After an outcry from the community, including parents, students, and other local stakeholders, and an unfavorable legal opinion handed down by the Attorney General, Fort Worth ISD felt the pressure and held several town hall meetings on the subject and eventually reformed the guidelines dramatically. However, were it not for the diligence of a few concerned parents in reading the new guidelines, none of this would have even come to light.
Because of this, our office reviewed the provisions in state law which guarantee parents access to information in a public school. We found these provisions in desperate need of clarity and expansion. That is why I am planning to file a bill that rewrites these provisions to make it unequivocally clear that a parent has a right to full and total information on their child’s academic performance, physical, mental and emotional health, and more. Further, my legislation will make it expressly against state law for a district to adopt policies designed to undermine a parent’s right to know. No parent in Texas should ever have to fight for the basic right to matter in their child’s life again.
As I stated in my op ed, “Our schools are a place of learning; they are not replacements for the support and love of the family.” I know that everyone understands the value and need to keep the family first, as they are the cornerstone of our society and our schools should never work to undermine them.
One last thing: I need to hear from you! Here are two ways for you to interact with my office:
- Please take the five minutes to go to my website and take my SD10 Legislative Survey. Tell me what matters to you!
- Grab your cell phone and text KONNI to 97000 to join my text alert system! Next session I will be sending text alerts on priority bills for SD10 and keep you up-to-date on the latest happenings in your state Capitol.
P.S. ‒ If you’d like to donate to my reelection efforts, please click here!