Dripping Springs, TX: Parents stand behind targetted child

Interesting thing happened at the Dripping Springs ISD board meeting on Monday. A petition with 529 signatures was submitted to the school board in support of a transgender 3rd grader who attends Walnut Springs Elementary School.

The 9-year-old student was born a boy but identifies as a girl. Walnut Springs Elementary is now allowing her to use the girl's bathroom.

All we want is for everyone to understand that being a transgender child or the family of a transgender child is laden with heartache, anxiety and fear.

It would also be years before we learned that our son was actually our daughter. Dressed in boys clothes with a boy haircut, our child never seemed particularly happy in his skin. All that changed when she grew out her hair, and donned headbands and leggings and lots of pink

--statement from the mother of the child

I met this young girl as a kindergartner. At the time she still looked like a boy to the outside world.

Over the next four years she saw a child born a boy, transform physically and emotionally. With each change in gender expression she smiled more often. She held her shoulders a little higher and her eyes met mine.

When she started third grade my son (who is also a third grader) mentioned that he thought she was all the way a girl and I agreed.

--Karen Silcox

It doesn't seem to matter that the girl at the center of this bathroom controversy is the one wearing a pink shirt and has her hair in a ponytail. For these kids and their parents this is a time they all need to stand together.

At Walnut Springs there is no safety threat for allowing this little girl to use a stall in a girl's bathroom,

--Silcox

Parents took the same message to Monday’s school board meeting. 529 people signed a letter of support for the third grader and many of them were quick to stand and be counted during the public forum section of the meeting. But about a dozen people remained seated and the conservative nonprofit, Texas Values says their voices need to continue to be heard.

It's parents who called us first, so that's why we even got involved in the issue.

A private faculty stall or a single stall restroom. I think that's perfectly reasonable. That would protect the privacy and dignity of all students

--Nicole Hudgens, Texas Values

Except, of course, for the transgender student.

Texas Values and some parents in the Dripping Springs Independent School District submitted a Public Information Act Request to DSISD requesting all communication between district employees regarding the bathroom issue including emails about the school district’s decision to allow the third grader to use the girl’s bathroom.

We don't need an outside professional lobbyist who doesn't know our children, to come into our community pushing fear or threatening a child. All of us support our children, our school and our schools decision to allow this brave little 3rd grader to use the bathroom wherever she chooses.

[The] professional lobbyist (Jonathan Saenz, Texas Values) couldn’t walk into our school and pick out this child from any other third grader but he claims to know she’s a danger merely because of where she uses the toilet.

--Andy Hutton, DSISD parent

This outside lobbyist seems to believe that there's only one kind of faith, family and one definition of freedom. In Dripping Springs we know that diversity makes us stronger and that's what we teach our kids... When someone threatens a child in our community with discrimination, we come together to protect that child.

--James Acres, DSISD parent

At the school board meeting, more than 20 parents spoke to board members to show their support of their decisions. They added they want to show Texas Values that the people of Dripping Springs are not on their side.

I learned about it late last week and am still studying the issue. However, I don’t think any boys, no matter their age, should be using girls restrooms and vice versa.

--Rep. Jason Isaac, R-Dripping Springs

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