Katy ISD passes new gender identity policy
FOX 26 Reporter Natalie Hee has more on the new policy and why some are upset with the vote.
KATY, Texas – The Katy ISD Board of Trustees approved a controversial new policy for transgender kids Monday night after a heated debate at a school board meeting.
The measure outlines teachers’ roles, parental rights, and which bathroom students will now be allowed to use at school.
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Katy ISD trustees approved the policy in a 4-3 vote.
Teachers and staff will now be required to tell parents if a student wants to be identified as transgender, change their name, or use different pronouns at school. Employees will not be allowed to share any information about gender fluidity with students and are prohibited from asking for preferred pronouns.
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The new ruling also requires students to use bathrooms that align with their gender assigned at birth.
Board president Victor Perez said it does not aim to target anyone’s sexual orientation or gender identity and adds that it’s not their goal to pry into students’ private conversations with staff.
Hayden Cohen is the co-founder and State Policy Director of the organization Students Engaged in Advancing Texas, also known as SEAT. Cohen believes the policy is a step backwards for the district.
“At the start of my freshman year, I came out as gay and then later on, as non-binary about a year later. For the students, the trustees, this isn’t over. We’ve got organizations lining up ready to file lawsuits,” Cohen said.
Cohen also raised concerns for kids who live with unsupportive families.
“A large fear is abuse. Kids getting kicked out of their homes. You do have times where kids are wanting to commit suicide or start self-harming because living with unsupportive parents can take a toll on your mental health,” Cohen said.
According to the CDC, suicide is the leading cause of death among youth and young adults 10 to 24 years old.
Cohen said help is available for kids who find themselves in these situations, for more information, click here.