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Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller issued the following statement on Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s announcement that his office will file a legal challenge to the Obama administration’s directive that public school districts protect transgender students from discrimination.

“It is shameful that Attorney General Paxton has decided to use the power of his office to join the lieutenant governor in bullying transgender students in our public schools. There have been more criminal charges filed against Paxton than there have been cases – zero, in fact – of transgender people using non-discrimination policies as an excuse to enter public restrooms to commit assaults, but that fact doesn’t seem to be stopping top state elected officials from stoking irrational fears about a problem that doesn’t exist and stigmatizing transgender children. The Obama administration’s directive simply asks school districts to acknowledge a student’s gender identity and shield them from discrimination.”

Far-right politicians and political activists have used bathroom access issues to target non-discrimination policies across the country that protect everyone, including LGBT individuals. Last year in Houston, the same fear-tactics were used to overturn the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance. And in North Carolina, the state legislature passed legislation to overturn a … Read More

Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller released the following statement regarding tonight’s loss by Mary Lou Bruner in the runoff for the Republican nomination for State Board of Education District 9:

“Texas escaped an education train wreck tonight. If Bruner had ultimately won election to the board, she would have instantly become the most embarrassingly uninformed and divisive member on a board that already too often puts politics ahead of making sure our kids get a sound education. We commend the majority of East Texas voters for their wisdom in this particular race.”

The State Board of Education sets curriculum standards and adopts textbooks for the state’s more than 5 million public school students.

The victor in the GOP runoff was Keven Ellis, a chiropractor and president of the school board in the East Texas town of Lufkin. Bruner, a retired educator from Mineola, drew national attention to the race with outrageous statements made on her Facebook page, in public forums and in media interviews. Among them: … Read More

You may have seen reports, like this one by the Associated Press, about a proposed Mexican-American studies textbook that will be submitted to the Texas State Board of Education (SBOE) for approval and use in the state’s public schools.

That textbook is already generating controversy. Cursory reviews of the book show that it includes troubling passages like this one:

“Chicanos…adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society.”

Just as troubling is who is behind this text. Cynthia Dunbar, a former SBOE member who believes public education is a “subtle tool of perversion” and the separation of church and state is a myth, owns the company that submitted this book. Dunbar doesn’t have any qualifications to create a Mexican-American studies textbook. And neither do her buddies at Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University who helped her write this book.

We’ve known for some time that this book may be coming. And we’ve also known that Dunbar’s company was behind it. And as TFN has done with all textbook adoptions likely to be targeted by political activists like Dunbar, we prepared by lining up scholars and experts in the relevant field to review this … Read More

Dave Welch, the Houston hate-monger who runs the right-wing U.S./Texas/Houston Area Pastor Council, played a leading role last year in promoting the deeply misleading argument that the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance would give sexual predators access to women's restrooms. Of course, this bathroom predator argument, which we're now hearing around the country, is essentially a lie. But that hasn't stopped Welch and others who support discrimination against LGBT folks. They even seem to be trying to tie just about any assault or harassment in a public restroom to protections for transgender folks. Here, for example, is a screenshot from an email last Friday from Welch's group: Read More

by Jose Medina

Here are some of the week’s most notable quotes culled from news reports from across Texas, and beyond. Read More

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