Fort Worth school board members are holding a series of forums at district high schools to gather public comments on guidelines for teachers, counselors and administrators dealing with transgender students.
The guidelines, announced at an April 26 board meeting, include discussion of which restrooms and locker rooms transgender students can use.
Advocates of transgender rights to choose a restroom and people who say that’s unsafe have dominated the heated discussion so far. Has it been too heated? What’s been missing?
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Calm down and take a breath.
The federal government didn’t issue a new law about who can use which restroom. A recommendation was made to help protect transgender kids, but actual policy will be made at the local level.
Political posturing, hysteria and a media blitz are making a mountain out of a molehill.
Fred Gregory, Arlington
When the school district pits its authority against the parents in determining what they can or cannot be told about their child’s very personal information, the district has gone way too far. Repeal the guidelines.
Jean King, Fort Worth
Have we suddenly had a rash of transgender folks using the bathrooms? It’s typical of conservative politicians to instill fear before big elections.
North Richland Hills
What we’re witnessing with the transgender issue is a rebellion against God’s moral law, and its effects are far-reaching. This issue has huge potential ramifications on our children and generations to come.
Kathy Drennan, Fort Worth
Schoolchildren are more in danger of molestation by teachers, coaches or principals than from a transgender person.
People get excited about sex, good or bad. So when our state officials raise the bogeyman of transgenders, it diverts attention away from how the state of Texas is failing its children.
We need a good dose of common sense and state officials who do their jobs instead of promoting fear.
Audrey Remley, Fort Worth
People who think they’re a different sex than their body parts would indicate need to be treated by a psychiatrist.
Allowing anyone who “feels” like a different sex than what reality indicates to use the “wrong” bathroom opens the door to abuse by someone with ulterior motives.
Barry Dorsch, Fort Worth
On the surface, this is red meat thrown out by conservative politicians to assuage their wrong-minded constituents.
On a deeper level this reinforces what I’ve seen from conservatives all my life: whites-only bathrooms, no overtly Hispanics allowed, gays and lesbians not allowed, on and on ad nauseam.
Stop it now, before the dragons of evil take over.
David Perkins, Fort Worth
In the “you gotta be kidding” category, the Obama administration would grant federal funding to cities that provide safe harbor to illegal alien felons while denying funds to states that don’t allow any student of any age to use any bathroom.
Joseph Ansley, Fort Worth
When Washington does something they don’t like, Republicans scream overreach. But they don’t see that when the state interferes with something the cities or local people are doing it is the same thing.
The state should stay out of the school district’s business.
Arthur Payne, Arlington
A person born with a male anatomy is a boy and a person born with a female anatomy is a girl. Those who do not identify with this basic truth live a lie.
If anyone needs protection in this case, it’s the transgender person.
Remember when black Americans couldn’t use public restrooms? Did we learn nothing from history? This issue needs to be flushed.
Jodie Wright-Tepfer, Bedford
The “bathroom” aspect of the debate, while not unimportant, distracts from the more pressing question — whether transgender behavior (much less surgery) is “healthy” for those considering it.
Should such conduct be encouraged, discouraged or just “accepted” in light of its impact on that person?
Contrary to some representations, a sizable portion of the medical community believes adolescents go through a “phase” in their emotional development that can be helped by good counseling, rather than such a monumental “switch.”
So I suggest caution on the part of those who might jump on the transgender bandwagon.
Thomas F. Harkins Jr.,
Please step back and objectively consider what has happened here: Apparently, a very qualified, vetted, sought-after administrator made an executive decision, entirely within his purview and central to his responsibilities as the CEO of the public school system, to forestall further discrimination, harassment and even physical abuse of a small but significant at-risk minority of his constituent population.
Surely that is a worthy outcome to be applauded, not vilified!
Political opportunists who swoop into our community to screech at the sensationalized specter of predator men dressed as women invading girls’ bathrooms clearly do not have any understanding of the very real transgender phenomenon that persists in their midst.
To suggest that every child should carry a birth certificate to prove birth gender is a ludicrous, unworkable solution to a complex, nuanced issue.
Silas and Linda Hughes,
Opinions on how to deal with transgender people in schools, as well as in general, range from one extreme to another.
We expect and demand a thoughtful and deliberate process to determine what’s best for all concerned.
Missing from the Fort Worth school district process was any public input prior to releasing the policy. To come along after the fact and expect people to believe these “public forums” will have any impact on a decision that has been made is ridiculous and an insult to the public.
Troy Worthy, Hurst
I’m proud of the Fort Worth district, where every student is included and respected.
I believe our faith calls us to care for the least of these. For Christians, it is a call from the one we call Christ.
Rather than facing differences with fear, I hope we can celebrate all of the different folks — all made in the image of God.
Judy O’Donnell, Fort Worth
If someone has male genitalia and he wants to use the ladies’ restroom, he might be better served by seeking help from a psychiatrist or hormone therapy.
The question is: Why did the newly hired superintendent feel this problem needed to be addressed now when there were many more urgent problems?
Jay V. Beavers, Granbury
I suggest that students be required to wear T-shirts with their birth certificates printed on them.
To enforce the rules, there should be restroom monitors at every school.
They should be called the Latrine Marines to check students’ gender status. And they’d watch to see what’s going on in the restrooms.
Marty Goldsmith, Fort Worth
All Points each Monday features reader responses to a question posed by the Editorial Board. With each week’s responses comes the next week’s question. All Points responses are not counted toward the monthly limit of one letter to the editor from each writer. Readers are welcome to send their own ideas for All Points topics to Editorial Director Mike Norman, firstname.lastname@example.org.