FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 5, 2017
Rob D’Amico (512-627-1343)
Louis Malfaro, president of the 65,000-member Texas branch of the American Federation of Teachers, commented today on Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick unveiling Senate Bill 6 :
Dan Patrick is waging a war on kids. Under Patrick’s lack of leadership, we’ve seen a failure to provide resources needed for Child Protective Services, resulting in thousands of children in need of care and supervision, and kids forced to sleep in state offices. We’ve seen Medicaid cuts that are devastating to disabled children and a lack of school funding that has led to denial of special education services. And now while our school finance system remains outdated and woefully inadequate to provide our students with the support they need, our lieutenant governor instead is fixated on passing a “bathroom bill.”
This bill isn’t about providing safety or privacy. It’s an attempt to foment divisiveness, stigmatize vulnerable students, and distract us from what really needs our attention—more resources for our schools and educators.
Our school leaders and educators know that an inclusive and supportive environment for all students is the key to creating a learning community that benefits all kids. Transgender students often deal with significant emotional struggles and don’t need a crusading Dan Patrick to ban them from a bathroom for the gender they identify with and add to the challenges they face growing up and trying to get an education.
Our school districts should continue to support non-discrimination policies and respect all students’ unique needs. The lieutenant governor’s attempt to constrain school districts with a black-and-white law on bathroom usage is both unnecessary and counterproductive to creating an inclusive school environment.
Texas AFT represents more than 65,000 teachers, paraprofessionals, support personnel, and higher-education employees across the state.
Texas AFT is affiliated with the 1.6-million-member American Federation of Teachers.