A Texas school district voted Monday to ban the teaching of critical race theory, prevent transgender sports participation, and not require the use of students’ preferred pronouns.
The Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, located in Dallas, approved the policy in a 4-3 vote.
The Texas Tribune reported that the meeting lasted almost eight hours and over 150 parents and North Texas residents signed up to speak during the meeting.
Under the new policy, teachers will not be forced to address students by the pronouns that match their gender identity, regardless of what parents request.
Transgender students will also be required to play on sports teams and use the restroom that matches their biological sex.
Those under sixth grade are now banned from talking about sexual orientation and gender identity, and any conversation about gender fluidity is prohibited in all grades, reported the New York Post.
Board member Casey Ford said “These policies are the product of input from several groups — the board’s policy committee, the district’s attorneys, the board’s attorneys, a committee of administrators and principals and, most importantly, community members.”
Becky St. John, who voted against it, said “This policy is going to harm students in the classroom [and] overburden our teachers for a political agenda.”
The policy states that “the district will not promote, require, or encourage the use of titles or pronoun identifiers for students, teachers or any other persons in any manner that is inconsistent with the biological sex of such person.”
If a student, parent, or legal guardian requests that the teacher address the student with their preferred pronouns to match their gender identity, it is at the teacher’s “discretion” to do so.
Many parents and community members were angered by the school board’s decision to approve the policy.
Mike Sexton, whose children attend schools in the district, said “You can talk about Santa Claus, but you can’t talk about gay people to fifth graders.”
“This is incredible — you’re acting like people don’t exist. There’s thousands of people in this district that are LGBTQ, that live here, that are taxpayers,” he added.
Other individuals speaking at the meeting expressed their support of the new rules.
An unnamed grandmother said “The policy on the agenda tonight that keeps girls competing against biological girls is very important to me.”
“I want to make sure that my granddaughters can enjoy the fruits and labor of my generation by participating in fair competitive sports,” she explained.
The policy also states that teachers and administrators cannot discuss critical race theory or what they call “systemic discrimination ideologies.”
Other schools around the country have recently been implementing policies related to critical race theory and gender pronouns.