Carroll ISD board votes to change bathroom, pronoun policies

NBC Universal, Inc.

School starts in just three weeks in Carroll ISD and it's the latest district in North Texas to adopt some controversial new policies for the new school year.

On Monday night, the school board voted to restrict restrooms use to the gender on birth certificates. Teachers are also not required to use gender-identifying pronouns.

Trustees also approved a new student handbook and code of conduct for the upcoming school year that no longer contain references “transgender” and “sexual orientation” in the written language. This also includes the district’s nondiscrimination statement.

Examples of gender-based harassment were also removed from the handbook.

This is a blow to gender-affirming advocates, students and families, who sounded off in public comments before the vote. Click here to watch the school board meeting video.

“There is already so much intolerance in school today and that’s when it’s supposedly against the rules. Imagine the consequences when it’s removed completely,” said student and CISD senior Brady Golumb. “I’m on varsity cross-country and varsity track. And every day I hear homophobic and racial slurs, and no one ever stops them.”

Others said the school board didn't give the community a chance to study the agenda and policies, which were only publicly posted Friday afternoon.

“I’m concerned that the handbook, combined with two other policies you are considering tonight, will create a hostile environment for LGBTQ students and will lead to an atmosphere where even well-meaning teachers and administrators are unable to support students these marginalized students,” said Pam Francis, a mother of three graduates from CISD.

Throughout the meeting, board members argued that students are still protected under the federal Title IX sexual orientation and gender discrimination guidelines. They also said the school district's code of conduct prohibits bullying.

“It really bothers me honestly that we have a few of our residents and people who have spoke here tonight to feel we do not protect and value every single student in our district. We want to protect every single student,” said Eric Lannen, a CISD board trustee. "It bothers me that there are people who feel we are not loving and caring toward our students.”

Carroll ISD now joins at least three other districts that have approved polices that require students to use restrooms that align with the gender assigned at  birth.

They include Keller, Frisco, and Grapevine-Colleyville ISDs. At most districts, policies allow for accommodations if they are requested.

The new policies approved Monday night in CISD will take effect this upcoming school year, which begins August 15.

Carroll ISD is currently facing eight open civil rights investigations from the U.S. Department of Education Office on Civil Rights, which includes allegations of discrimination involving race, sexual orientation, and disability.

Contact Us