The Texas Senate Sunday night approved a bill that would both simplify the formulas for funding public schools and allow parents of kids with disabilities to take state money to leave the public system for private schools or homeschooling.
Beyond fears for students' civil rights, the bill's opponents also point out that this kind of legislation is risky for transgender youth, who are at a heightened risk for having depression, having anxiety, or attempting suicide compared to the general population, something linked to the discrimination they face.
During debate on the amendment, Paddie faced criticism from Democratic colleagues, who said the amendment discriminated against transgender students. Some female legislators even used the men's restroom at the Texas capitol in protest. "Bathrooms divided us then and it divides us now and America has long recognized that separate but equal is not equal at all". And it's not, it's not", said Representative Joe Moody (D-El Paso) " Because who it's going to impact is one group of people. If transgender students did not want to use their assigned-gender bathroom, they would have to use single-stall bathrooms under the provisions of this legislation.
Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said he wants to sign a bathroom bill into law.
The Texas House gave final approval Monday morning to a bill banning transgender-friendly bathrooms in the state's public schools, turning down one final Democratic amendment that would have allowed schools to opt out of the law. "It paints a target on the backs of already vulnerable children", said Representative Celia Israel, a Democrat, according to the Statesman.
Sunday afternoon clouds to bring 50 percent chance of thunderstorms
As of Sunday evening, the forecast is showing clear skies with highs in the low- to mid-80s for Memorial Day weekend. It won't sweep through fast enough to cool things down much as highs will still be in the upper 80s this afternoon.
The chamber's last-minute traction on the bathroom legislation follows Lt. Gov.
Texas continued to hardwire discrimination into the state's DNA on Sunday night, passing legislation which could put the state's hosting of the 2018 NCAA Final Four in San Antonio and other mega-sporting events at risk, if the NCAA possessed anything close to a moral core. The amendment requires students to use the bathroom of their biological gender in schools.
State Rep. Cesar Blanco said too many educators are pressured to teach to the test and students become stressed about state exams.
The Senate's version of the bill would have extended the program until 2019 - which upset critics of high-stakes testing who wanted a permanent extension.
"Fresh off its passage of the most anti-immigrant legislation in the nation, the Texas legislature this weekend turned its attention to targeting women and children", said Terri Burke, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, in a press release.
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