Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick is calling for the resignation of Fort Worth Independent School District superintendent Dr. Kent Paredes Scribner over the district's new "guidelines" regarding gender and bathrooms.
Patrick said Scribner placed his own personal agenda ahead of students by adopting transgender student guidelines.
In a statement released Monday afternoon, Patrick said:
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"After less than a year as superintendent, Dr. Scribner has lost his focus and thereby his ability to lead the Fort Worth ISD. He has placed his own personal political agenda ahead of the more than 86,000 students attending 146 schools in the district by unilaterally adopting 'Transgender Student Guidelines.' Without any discussion with parents, board members, principals, and other community leaders, Dr. Scribner’s unilateral action, underscores this lack of fitness to hold his position as superintendent. Campus safety should be of paramount concern for anyone in his position. Every parent, especially those of young girls, should be outraged. The State of Texas has an affirmative responsibility to provide a safe environment in the schools where attendance is compulsory. While this may be an example of the need for the Legislature to pass a meaningful School Choice Bill, we must not allow the actions of Dr. Scribner to go unnoticed or unanswered. I call upon the parents within the Fort Worth ISD to take immediate steps to repeal this stealthy scheme and remove Dr. Scribner from his post."
Patrick said he will attend Tuesday's school board meeting in Fort Worth.
Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, directed at Fort Worth ISD school board president Jacinto Ramos, saying he had concern the policy violates the Texas Education Code. Read that letter here.
A district official responded by saying the school board and the district had been working on a more inclusive policy since 2014 and drafted a new set of guidelines last summer. The official said Scribner told the school board he signed those guidelines.
"We have enormous confidence in Superintendent Kent P. Scribner, his team and our Board," school board president Jacinto Ramos, Jr. said in a statement. "We are focused on creating a strong, safe, and productive learning environment for ALL students."
The district considers the new rules "guidelines," which do not require a vote by the school board.
"This is all about process, and the fact that this was not put to a vote. We live in a democracy and the citizens that put the board members in place should've had a say," parent Zed Pent said.
Pent said he represents several organizations that oppose the guidelines, which require school personnel to acknowledge students by the gender with which they identify rather than the one on their birth certificates.
The guidelines also state the campus counselor will be a "designated ally" for transgender students. They allow the counselor to decide whether parents should be notified about a students' transition out of the "health, well-being and safety of the transitioning student."
The guidelines also require transgender students access to "a single-stall restroom, a gender neutral restroom, or the opportunity to visit the facility when other students are not present."
"We see a problem with those who would exploit the guidelines, absolutely," Pent said.
This all comes in the aftermath of a North Carolina bill requiring a person to use the public restroom corresponding to the sex on their birth certificate.
Patrick told NBC 5 last month that he would support similar legislation in Texas.
NBC 5's Meredith Yeomans contributed to this report.