Keller School administrators to debate banning gender fluidity books, arming staff


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The Keller School Board is set to consider a policy banning library books at all grade levels that includes discussion of gender fluidity.

The proposal is expected to draw large crowds when Keller administrators meet Monday night, setting the stage for a North Texas school board meeting to once again be the place where LGBTQ students are placed at the center of political debate. fierce.

Also on the Keller ISD agenda is a discussion about allowing certain district staff to carry arms on campus, at board meetings, and at other ISD-sponsored events. school.

Both policy plans may foreshadow the kinds of discussions conservative-controlled school boards could have across Texas this year. Keller is one of the few districts in Tarrant County where candidates backed by Patriot Mobile Action — a Christian PAC — gained a foothold in the recent election.

Conservative ‘takeover’ of North Texas schools begins new playbook to expand GOP power?

With the bill also beginning on Monday, Keller’s measures are also indicative of the kinds of proposals that could gain traction in the Legislature, bolstered by midterm Republican victories that could fuel a push to the right.

Keller has been at the heart of the fight for the books. Over the summer, the district pulled dozens of books from shelves, including the Bible and an adaptation of Anne Frank’s diary. Some of the titles had previously passed a challenge in the district.

At the time, district spokesman Bryce Nieman said it was because administrators had recently approved a new policy requiring every previously challenged book to be reviewed.

The administrators established a far-reaching new book policy in August.

Keller ISD adopts new book challenge policy at split community pack meeting

The rules prohibited content that includes horror, underage drug or alcohol use, tobacco use, the “glorification of suicide, self-harm or mental illness” and material considered to be sexually explicit in elementary schools. In higher grades, the guidelines become less restrictive.

The proposal on Monday’s agenda would further modify the guidelines. This would add “discussion or depiction of gender fluidity” to the list of topics that are not allowed at any level, from primary to secondary.

The draft policy, available on the district’s website, defines gender fluidity as promoting the idea that it is possible for a person to be non-binary. It also applies the term to any support for therapies that alter a person’s body to match their “presumed gender different from the person’s biological sex”, as determined by their birth certificate.

In a Facebook post, KISD Board Chairman Charles Randklev wrote that the content guidelines are intended to “protect children from sexually explicit and age-inappropriate educational materials.”

“The State of Texas considers performing sex reassignment procedures on minors to be child abuse,” he wrote. “Political topics like gender theory and sexual identity are best discussed within families, by parental choice, rather than in the classroom.”

What is gender-affirming medical care for trans youth?

LGBTQ rights organizations largely consider gender-affirming care, including the use of hormone blockers and other medical procedures for people in transition, to be essential in preventing transgender and non-transgender people binaries from experiencing the negative side effects of gender dysphoria, which can include anxiety, depression, and eating. troubles.

Staff Arming

The board will also discuss a proposal to allow specific employees to have firearms on campus, if they get the superintendent’s approval, hold a handgun license and undergo training.

The choice to carry a weapon would be voluntary for employees. The superintendent would also have the ability to revoke an employee’s authorization to transport at any time.

Texas schools can already arm teachers. Politicians could push for more after Uvalde tragedy

Keller wouldn’t be the only one allowing this. Texas has two programs that allow certain people to carry guns on campus.

“The proposed change allows employees who volunteer and meet very rigorous qualifications to serve as guardians to quickly protect our schools in the event of an attack,” Randklev wrote. “The council and the district would require very strict qualifications before an employee could carry a firearm.”

The DMN Education Lab deepens coverage and conversation about pressing education issues critical to the future of North Texas.

The DMN Education Lab is a community-funded journalism initiative, with support from The Beck Group, Bobby and Lottye Lyle, Communities Foundation of Texas, The Dallas Foundation, Dallas Regional Chamber, Deedie Rose, Garrett and Cecilia Boone, The Meadows Foundation, The Murrell Foundation, Solutions Journalism Network, Southern Methodist University, Sydney Smith Hicks, Todd A. Williams Family Foundation and the University of Texas at Dallas. The Dallas Morning News retains full editorial control of Education Lab journalism.

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