Fort Worth (Texas) school superintendent Kent Scribner says he has no intention of resigning in the wake of the controversy that has arisen over a set of guidelines in put in place last month for transgender students.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that Scribner told the newspaper's editorial board that he was proud of the district's guidelines for how transgender students should be treated in schools. The guidelines state that students should be given access to restrooms consistent with “the gender identity that each student consistently and uniformly asserts.”
The guidelines "provide educators with the ability to make all students more comfortable and confident in a learning environment," Scribner says.
The transgender policy drew comments from both sides of the issue at a Fort Worth board meeting Tuesday night.
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has called for the Scribner's resignation because of the policies that provide more protection for transgender students.
“After less than a year as superintendent, Dr. Scribner has lost his focus and thereby his ability to lead the Fort Worth ISD," the lieutenant governor argued in a prepared statement. "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."
Scribner took the top job the 86,000-student school system in 2015 after several years as superintendent of the Phoenix (Ariz.) Union High School District.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports that school board president Jacinto Ramos issued a statement of support for Scribner: “We have enormous confidence in Superintendent Kent P. Scribner, his team, and our Board. We are focused on creating a strong, safe, and productive learning environment for ALL students.”
Fort Worth's new guidelines direct school officials to offer transgender students access to a single-stall restroom or the opportunity to use a restroom when no other students are present. District personnel have been instructed to “show respect for the student’s desires and wishes to the extent practical so as to foster a productive educational process for all.”